Review: Animal Behavior and Wildlife Conservation

Article excerpt

Review: Animal Behavior and Wildlife Conservation By Marco Festa-Bianchet and Marco Apollonio (Eds.) Marco Festa-Bianchet and Marco Apollonio (Eds.). Animal Behavior and Wildlife Conservation. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2003. 380pp. ISBN 1- 55963-958-X (cloth); 1-55963-959-8 (paper). US$70.00 cloth; US$35.00 paper. Recycled, acid-free paper.

Animal behaviorists have long argued that their research has significant implications for conservation initiatives. In November of 2000, researchers gathered in Erice, Sicily, at a workshop on Animal Behavior and Conservation to investigate the ways in which their work could be applied in order to better the management of wildlife populations and habitats. In Animal Behavior and Wildlife Conservation, Festa-Bianchet and Apollonio compile papers from that workshop, as well as other essays on resourceuse, wildlife management, and individual variability within populations. Together, these essays provide insight into both the potential and the limitations of conservation in an era of increasing human encroachment into wild areas.

The scope of the book ranges from general principles regarding animal behavior and ecosystem maintenance to specific examinations of the genetic and behavioral variability of different species. The chapters are organized into five major sections. The introductory section links the study of animal behavior to the goals of conservation. The second section consists of five chapters that examine, respectively, the impact of carnivore dispersal behavior on conservation, the challenges posed by migratory marine turtles, bird species' responses to habitat fragmentation in boreal forests, reproductive behavior in response to habitat loss and fisheries management, and foraging behavior in herbivore reintroduction programs.

The authors grouped together in Part III of the book address the impact of wildlife management and the human harvest of wild species, primarily through sport hunting, on animal behavior. The essays in this section demonstrate a more general shift from wildlife management focused primarily on population dynamics to approaches that focus on individual differences and species-specific behavior. …

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