By Luigi Boitani, Todd K. Fuller
The present biodiversity crisis is rife with opportunities to make important conservation decisions; however, the misuse or misapplication of the methods and techniques of animal ecology can have serious consequences for the survival of species. Still, there have been relatively few critical reviews of methodology in the field. This book provides an analysis of some of the most frequently used research techniques in animal ecology, identifying their limitations and misuses, as well as possible solutions to avoid such pitfalls. In the process, contributors to this volume present new perspectives on the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data. Research Techniques in Animal Ecology is an overarching account of central theoretical and methodological controversies in the field, rather than a handbook on the minutiae of techniques. The editors have forged comprehensive presentations of key topics in animal ecology, such as territory and home range estimates, habitation evaluation, population viability analysis, GIS mapping, and measuring the dynamics of societies. Striking a careful balance, each chapter begins by assessing the shortcomings and misapplications of the techniques in question, followed by a thorough review of the current literature, and concluding with possible solutions and suggested guidelines for more robust investigations.