Cover image for Wild cats of the world
Wild cats of the world
Sunquist, Melvin E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 452 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 26 cm
Subject Term:
Added Author:
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Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QL737.C23 S863 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
QL737.C23 S863 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Did you know that European royalty once used cheetahs to hunt deer, or that caracals can capture birds by leaping six and a half feet straight up into the air from a standing start? Have you ever wondered whether domestic cats really do land on their feet when they fall, or how Canada lynx can stalk their prey in the winter without falling through the deep snow?

Wild Cats of the World is a treasure trove of answers to questions like these, and many others, for anyone who's interested in learning more about the world's felids, including the ones with whom we share our homes. Mel and Fiona Sunquist have spent more than a decade gathering information about cats from every available source, many of them quite difficult to find, including scientific papers, descriptions of hunts, archeological findings, observations by naturalists and travelers, reports from government agencies, and newsletters from a wide variety of organizations. Weaving information from these sources together with their own experiences observing wild cats around the world, the Sunquists have created the most comprehensive reference on felids available. Each of their accounts of the 36 species of cat contains a description of the cat, including human interactions with it, as well as detailed data on its distribution, ecology and behavior, status in the wild, and efforts to conserve it. Numerous photographs, including more than 40 in full color, illustrate these accounts.

Ranging from the two-pound black-footed cat to the five-hundred-pound tiger, and from the African serval with its satellite-dish ears to the web-footed fishing cat of Asia, Wild Cats of the World will fascinate and educate felid fans of any stripe (or spot).

Author Notes

Mel Sunquist is associate professor in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida, Gainesville
Fiona Sunquist is a science writer, photographer, and for fifteen years was a roving editor for International Wildlife Magazine

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The Sunquists, he a professor of wildlife ecology (Univ. of Florida, Gainesville), she a science writer and photographer, have produced a magnificent reference to the 36 species of wild cats in the world. They introduce the felids as a group, then devote a chapter to their taxonomy before giving detailed species accounts that include description, distribution, and ecology and behavior. Brief chapters discuss current field research techniques, relocation projects, and conservation efforts on behalf of the big cats. Six appendixes give important tabular information on CITES listing, rankings of endangerment, reproduction, and a complete list of the common and scientific names of the species described. Extensive references follow each chapter, and color plates illustrate each species. The distribution maps, tables, and writing are crisp and clear, and the paper high quality and glossy. For public libraries and any college library with a biology program. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through faculty. H. N. Cunningham Jr. emeritus, Pennsylvania State University, Behrend College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Introductionp. 1
What Is a Cat?
The Essence of Catsp. 5
Taxonomy of the Cat Familyp. 14
Species Accounts
Cheetahp. 19
Caracalp. 37
Bay catp. 48
Asiatic golden catp. 52
Chinese desert catp. 57
Jungle catp. 60
Sand catp. 67
Black-footed catp. 75
Wildcatp. 83
European wildcatp. 85
African-Asian wildcatp. 92
Domestic catp. 99
Jaguarundip. 113
Ocelotp. 120
Oncillap. 130
Margayp. 135
Servalp. 142
Lynxp. 152
Canada lynxp. 154
Eurasian lynxp. 164
Iberian lynxp. 177
Bobcatp. 185
Pampas catp. 201
Geoffroy's catp. 205
Kodkodp. 211
Andean mountain catp. 215
Manulp. 219
Leopard catp. 225
Flat-headed catp. 233
Rusty-spotted catp. 237
Fishing catp. 241
African golden catp. 246
Pumap. 252
Clouded leopardp. 278
Lionp. 285
Jaguarp. 305
Leopardp. 318
Tigerp. 343
Marbled catp. 373
Snow leopardp. 377
Study and Conservation
Field Research Techniques: Recent Advancesp. 397
Relocating Cats: History and Guidelines for the Futurep. 400
Conserving Felids in the Twenty-First Centuryp. 407
Appendix 1 CITES Listings Governing Trade in Wild Catsp. 409
Appendix 2 IUCN Red List: Conservation Status of Wild Catsp. 411
Appendix 3 Olfactory Communication in Felidsp. 413
Appendix 4 Vocal Communication in Felidsp. 421
Appendix 5 Reproduction in Felidsp. 425
Appendix 6 List of Scientific and Common Names Mentioned in the Textp. 435
Photographic Creditsp. 441
Indexp. 443