Cover image for Wolves : behavior, ecology, and conservation
Wolves : behavior, ecology, and conservation
Mech, L. David.
Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2003.
Physical Description:
xvii, 448 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 29 cm
Molecular genetic studies of wolves -- Wolf evolution and taxonomy -- Wolf interactions with non-prey -- Restoration of the red wolf -- Wolves and humans -- Wolf conservation and recovery.
Subject Term:
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Material Type
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QL737.C22 W6477 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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Wolves are some of the world's most charismatic and controversial animals, capturing the imaginations of their friends and foes alike. Highly intelligent and adaptable, they hunt and play together in close-knit packs, sometimes roaming over hundreds of square miles in search of food. Once teetering on the brink of extinction across much of the United States and Europe, wolves have made a tremendous comeback in recent years, thanks to legal protection, changing human attitudes, and efforts to reintroduce them to suitable habitats in North America.
As wolf populations have rebounded, scientific studies of them have also flourished. But there hasn't been a systematic, comprehensive overview of wolf biology since 1970. In "Wolves," many of the world's leading wolf experts provide state-of-the-art coverage of just about everything you could want to know about these fascinating creatures. Individual chapters cover wolf social ecology, behavior, communication, feeding habits and hunting techniques, population dynamics, physiology and pathology, molecular genetics, evolution and taxonomy, interactions with nonhuman animals such as bears and coyotes, reintroduction, interactions with humans, and conservation and recovery efforts. The book discusses both gray and red wolves in detail and includes information about wolves around the world, from the United States and Canada to Italy, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Israel, India, and Mongolia. "Wolves" is also extensively illustrated with black and white photos, line drawings, maps, and fifty color plates.
Unrivalled in scope and comprehensiveness, "Wolves" will become the definitive resource on these extraordinary animals for scientists and amateurs alike.
An excellent compilation of current knowledge, with contributions from all the main players in wolf research. . . . It is designed for a wide readership, and certainly the language and style will appeal to both scientists and lucophiles alike. . . . This is an excellent summary of current knowledge and will remain the standard reference work for a long time to come. Stephen Harris, "New Scientist
This is the place to find almost any fact you want about wolves. Stephen Mills, "BBC Wildlife Magazine

Author Notes

L. David Mech is a senior research scientist with the Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey and adjunct professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and the Department of Ecology and Behavioral Biology at the University of Minnesota. He is author of The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species, The Way of the Wolf, and The Arctic Wolf , among other books, and is coauthor of The Wolves of Denali . Luigi Boitani is a professor of vertebrate zoology and animal ecology at the University of Rome. He is author of Dalla parte del lupo , coauthor of Simon and Schuster's Guide to Mammals , and coeditor of Research Techniques in Animal Ecology .

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

In the late 1940s, a group of gray wolves crossed a Lake Superior ice bridge to re-colonize Isle Royal, MI. Within ten years, editor Mech (senior research scientist, Biological Resources Division, U.S. Geological Survey) began studying this ecological phenomenon and so launched a lifelong study of one of nature's most revered and feared animals. Now Mech and coeditor Boitani (vertebrate zoology & animal ecology, Univ. of Rome) join 21 other scientists to offer the first scholarly update in more than 20 years on all aspects of wolf biology and behavior using the latest research and methods. For example, a chapter on molecular genetics reviews DNA sampling studies in mapping wolf evolution, population dynamics, and hybridization. Abundant references, tables, and graphs drawn from both published sources and personal communications support and qualify the information presented. Additionally, 32 color photographs offer a unique glimpse of wolves hunting, feeding, and participating in other activities. Most of the studies cited were conducted in North America; however, chapters on the wolf's current status, conservation, and relationship with humans illustrate the worldwide distribution of this legendary mammal. This will undoubtedly become the standard work on wolves for academic and professional collections.-Alvin Hutchinson, Smithsonian Inst. Libs., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Sixty years after Goldman and Young's The Wolves of North America (1944), and 34 years after Mech's The Wolf: The Ecology and Behavior of an Endangered Species (1970), this large-format book offers a synthesis of current thinking on a species that throughout history has struck a variety of emotional chords in humans. In 13 chapters, 23 contributors discuss wolf behavior, communication and social structure, population dynamics, evolution and taxonomy utilizing modern molecular techniques, food relations, interactions with nonprey species, and restoration, conservation, and recovery of wolf populations. Drawing this material together, the editors conclude that conservation of the wolf has now entered a phase where the species' recovery must be balanced with management compatible with legitimate human concerns. References occupy 56 pages in double columns. There are ample subject and author indexes, 16 pages of color plates, and intermittent tables and charts of high quality. This book should be available in colleges and universities and most public libraries. It is a vital resource for researchers in the field, but also can be used to educate the public about a species often cloaked in myth. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; upper-level undergraduates through faculty. H. N. Cunningham Jr. emeritus, Pennsylvania State Erie, Behrand College

Table of Contents

ForewordGeorge Rabb
Chapter 1 Wolf Social EcologyL. David Mech and Luigi Boitani
Chapter 2 Wolf Behavior: Reproductive, Social, and IntelligentJane M. Packard
Chapter 3 Wolf CommunicationFred H. Harrington and Cheryl S. Asa
Chapter 4 The Wolf as a CarnivoreRolf O. Peterson and Paolo Ciucci
Chapter 5 Wolf-Prey RelationsL. David Mech and Rolf O. Peterson
Chapter 6 Wolf Population DynamicsTodd K. Fuller and L. David Mech and Jean Fitts Cochrane
Chapter 7 The Internal Wolf: Physiology, Pathology, and PharmacologyTerry J. Kreeger
Chapter 8 Molecular Genetic Studies of WolvesRobert K. Wayne and Carles Vila
Chapter 9 Wolf Evolution and TaxonomyRonald M. Nowak
Chapter 10 Wolf Interactions with Non-preyWarren B. Ballard and Ludwig N. Carbyn and Douglas W. Smith
Chapter 11 Restoration of the Red WolfMichael K. Phillips and V. Gary Henry and Brian T. Kelly
Chapter 12 Wolves and HumansSteven H. Fritts and Robert O. Stephenson and Robert D. Hayes and Luigi Boitani
Chapter 13 Wolf Conservation and RecoveryLuigi Boitani
Appendix: Species Names Used in the Text
List of Contributors