Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New Titles

     MacDonald D.W. and A.J. Loveridge (editors). Biology and Conservation of Wild Felids. 2010. Oxford University Press. Paperback: 762 pages. Price: $75.00 U.S.

SUMMARY: The editors utilize their 50 years of combined experience in professional engagement with the behavior and ecology of wild felids to draw together a unique network of the world's most respected and knowledgeable experts. For the first time, this inter-disciplinary research program is brought together within a single volume.
     Beginning with a complete account of all 36 felid species, there follow 8 comprehensive review chapters that span all the topics most relevant to felid conservation science, including evolution and systematics, felid form and function, genetic applications, behavioral ecology, management of species that come into conflict with people and control of international trade in felid species, conservation tools/techniques, ex situ management, and felid diseases. 19 detailed case studies then delve deeply into syntheses of the very best species investigations worldwide, written by all the leading figures in the field. These chapters portray the unique attributes of the wild felids, describe their fascinating (and conflicting) relationship with humans, and create an unparalleled platform for future research and conservation measures. A final chapter analyses the requirements of, and inter-disciplinary approaches to, practical conservation with cutting-edge examples of conservation science and action that go far beyond the cat family.
RECOMMENDATION: For those with a technical interest in wild cats.

      Scott, Graham. Essential Ornithology. 2010. Oxford University Press. Paperback: 162 pages. Price: $55.00 U.S.

SUMMARY: Essential Ornithology provides the reader with a concise but comprehensive introduction to the biology of birds, one of the most widely studied taxonomic groups. The book starts with the controversial question of the dinosaur origins of birds and their subsequent evolution. Development, anatomy, and physiology are then discussed followed by chapters devoted to avian reproduction, migration, ecology, and conservation. Sections dealing with aspects of bird/human relationships and bird conservation give the book an applied context.
     Drawing extensively upon the wider scientific literature, this engaging text places the results of classical studies of avian biology alongside the most recent scientific breakthroughs. Useful case studies are presented in a concise and engaging style with the student reader foremost in mind. Key points are highlighted and suggestions for guided reading and key references are included throughout.
RECOMMENDATION: A good but basic introduction to ornithology.

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