Cover image for Fascinating mammals : conservation and ecology in the mid-eastern states
Fascinating mammals : conservation and ecology in the mid-eastern states
Yahner, Richard H.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Pittsburgh, Pa. : University of Pittsburgh Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xv, 333 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm

Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
QL719.M54 Y35 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A guide to the mammals of the mid-eastern US states, designed for those who would like to more thoroughly understand these creatures and the biological concepts behind their behaviour, appearance and habitats. It is also a primer on conservation issues facing the mammals.

Author Notes

Richard H. Yahner is Associate Dean of the Graduate School and professor of Wildlife Conservation in the School of Forest Resources at The Pennsylvania State University and author of Eastern Deciduous Forest: Ecology and Conservation, recipient of the Wildlife Society's 1997 Conservation Education Book Award.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Yahner's collection of 50 essays about native and introduced mammals in the mid-eastern states (Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia) includes an introductory chapter about each mammalian family found in the region, and the essays cover topics ranging from behavior and ecology to conservation and evolution. Discussions of interactions between mammals and humans are among the book's strongest points. Although the style of most essays makes them quite readable, the book includes fairly numerous editing errors. Factual material is often repeated within a relatively small span of pages, and several passages are difficult to follow. In addition, the author frequently packs the introductory descriptions and essays with unnecessary details about dentition and body size, topics that would be better relegated to tables or appendixes--or omitted altogether. The limited number of tables, maps, and illustrations are clear and well reproduced. Nonetheless, the book would be a good supplement to a standard field guide or useful in mammalogy courses taught in the eastern US. General readers; undergraduates. P. E. Hertz Barnard College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Chapter 1. Introduction to Mammalsp. 1
What Is a Mammal?p. 1
Origin of Mammalsp. 3
Classification and Conservation Status of Regional Mammalsp. 4
Chapter 2. American Opossums: Family Didelphidaep. 11
Description of the Family Didelphidaep. 11
Essay 1 Misconceptions about the Virginia Opossump. 13
Chapter 3. Shrews: Family Soricidaep. 16
Description of the Family Soricidaep. 16
Essay 2 The Role of Venom in Mammalsp. 19
Chapter 4. Moles: Family Talpidaep. 22
Description of the Family Talpidaep. 22
Essay 3 The Evolution of a Subterranean Way of Lifep. 25
Chapter 5. Bats: Family Vespertilionidaep. 27
Description of the Family Vespertilionidaep. 27
Essay 4 Flight in Batsp. 31
Essay 5 Echolocation in Bats and Other Mammalsp. 34
Essay 6 Bat Phobia--Bats in Our Atticp. 39
Chapter 6. Rabbits and Hares: Family Leporidaep. 45
Description of the Family Leporidaep. 45
Essay 7 Conservation of the "Other" Cottontailsp. 49
Essay 8 The Ups and Downs of Leporid Populationsp. 53
Chapter 7. Squirrels: Family Sciuridaep. 57
Description of the Family Sciuridaep. 57
Essay 9 Food Hoarding in Squirrels and Other Mammalsp. 60
Essay 10 Groundhog Day and Social Behavior in Marmotsp. 64
Essay 11 "Flying" in Flying Squirrelsp. 67
Essay 12 Northern Flying Squirrel: An Ice-Age Relict in Need of Conservationp. 71
Essay 13 The Gray Squirrel--An Exotic Species That Backfiredp. 74
Essay 14 Territoriality in Red Squirrelsp. 77
Chapter 8. Beaver: Family Castoridaep. 81
Description of the Family Castoridaep. 81
Essay 15 The History of Beaver in North America--A Conservation Success Storyp. 86
Essay 16 Sociality and Communication in Beaverp. 90
Essay 17 Winter Adaptations in Beaverp. 93
Chapter 9. Mice, Rats, and Voles: Family Muridaep. 97
Description of the Family Muridaep. 97
Essay 18 What's Happening to the Appalachian Woodrat?p. 100
Essay 19 Commensal Mice in the New Worldp. 103
Essay 20 "Mouse Outbreaks" or Why Do Vole Populations Cycle?p. 107
Essay 21 Muskrat Cycles and Waterfowl Managementp. 110
Essay 22 Lyme Disease and the Mouse-Deer-Acorn Connectionp. 113
Essay 23 Gypsy Moths and the Mouse-Acorn Connectionp. 117
Chapter 10. Porcupine: Family Erethizontidaep. 120
Description of the Family Erethizontidaep. 120
Essay 24 The Role of Porcupines in Our Northern Forestsp. 125
Chapter 11. Dogs, Foxes, Wolves, and Allies: Family Canidaep. 128
Description of the Family Canidaep. 128
Essay 25 Ancestry, Domestication, and Ecology of Dogsp. 131
Essay 26 The Return of the Eastern Coyotep. 135
Essay 27 Conservation and Ecological Issues Related to Canid Interactionsp. 139
Essay 28 Why Do Wolves and Coyotes Scent-Mark and Howl?p. 144
Essay 29 The Natural History and Ecology of "Madness" (Rabies) in Canidsp. 148
Essay 30 Wolf Reintroductions in the Northeast?p. 153
Chapter 12. Bears: Family Ursidaep. 158
Description of the Family Ursidaep. 158
Essay 31 Why Are Grizzly Bears More Aggressive than Black Bears?p. 160
Essay 32 Bear Coloration: Why Are Black Bears Brown?p. 165
Essay 33 Conservation of Black Bears in the Eastp. 167
Essay 34 "Hibernation" in Black Bears--A Metabolic and Ecological Wonderp. 171
Chapter 13. Raccoons and Allies: Family Procyonidaep. 175
Description of the Family Procyonidaep. 175
Essay 35 The Invasion of the Raccoon Rabies--History, Distribution, and Concernsp. 177
Chapter 14. Weasels and Allies: Family Mustelidaep. 181
Description of the Family Mustelidaep. 181
Essay 36 Conservation of Northern River Otters and Fishersp. 184
Essay 37 Sexual Dimorphism in Weasels and Other Mammalsp. 187
Essay 38 How Do Mammals Minimize Competition?--Examples from Mustelidsp. 190
Chapter 15. Skunks and Stink Badgers: Family Mephitidaep. 194
Description of the Family Mephitidaep. 194
Essay 39 Why Do Skunks Stink?p. 197
Chapter 16. Cats: Family Felidaep. 199
Description of the Family Felidaep. 199
Essay 40 Domestic (Feral) Cats--Ancestry, Domestication, and Ecologyp. 202
Essay 41 The Conservation of Bobcatsp. 205
Essay 42 History and Conservation of Mountain Lions in the Eastp. 208
Chapter 17. Horses and Other Equids: Family Equidaep. 216
Description of the Family Equidaep. 216
Essay 43 History and Ecology of Feral Horsesp. 219
Chapter 18. Pigs and Hogs: Family Suidaep. 224
Description of the Family Suidaep. 224
Essay 44 Origins of Feral Pig Populations and Impacts on Ecosystemsp. 227
Chapter 19. Deer: Family Cervidaep. 231
Description of the Family Cervidaep. 231
Essay 45 History and Economics of White-Tailed Deer Populationsp. 234
Essay 46 Impacts of Deer on Crops and Forest Resourcesp. 240
Essay 47 "Quality" White-Tailed Deer--Biological and Management Implicationsp. 243
Essay 48 Brainworm in Deer and Its Implications to Conservationp. 247
Essay 49 Why Do Deer Create Buck Rubs and Buck Scrapes?p. 251
Chapter 20. Bovids: Family Bovidaep. 256
Description of the Family Bovidaep. 256
Essay 50 Why Have Ungulates Evolved Antlers and Horns?p. 259
Scientific Names of Animals and Plants Mentioned in the Textp. 263
Glossary of Termsp. 273
Referencesp. 277
Indexp. 325