Desert Puma: Evolutionary Ecology And Conservation Of An Enduring Carnivore
Scientists and conservationists are beginning to understand the importance of top carnivores to the health and integrity of fully functioning ecosystems. As burgeoning human populations continue to impinge on natural landscapes, the need for understanding carnivore populations and how we affect them is becoming increasingly acute.Desert Puma represents one of the most detailed assessments ever produced of the biology and ecology of a top carnivore. The husband-and-wife team of Kenneth Logan and Linda Sweanor set forth extensive data gathered from their ten-year field study of pumas in the Chihuahua Desert of New Mexico, also drawing on other reliable scientific data gathered throughout the puma's geographic range. Chapters examine: the evolutionary and modern history of pumas, their taxonomy, and physical description a detailed description and history of the study area in the Chihuahua Desert field techniques that were used in the research puma population dynamics and life history strategies the implications of puma behavior and social organization the relationships of pumas and their preyThe authors provide important new information about both the biology of pumas and their evolutionary ecology -- not only what pumas do, but why they do it. Logan and Sweanor explain how an understanding of puma evolutionary ecology can, and must, inform long-term conservation strategies. They end the book with their ideas regarding strategies for puma management and conservation, along with a consideration of the future of pumas and humans. Desert Puma makes a significant and original contribution to the science not only of pumas in desert ecosystems but of the role of top predators in all environments. It is an essential contribution to the bookshelf of any wildlife biologist or conservationist involved in large-scale land management or wildlife management.
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