No group of wild mammals so universally captures the emotions of people world-wide than do wild canids. That emotion can be enchantment and fascination, but it can also be loathing, because the opportunism that is the hallmark of the dog family also leads them into conflict with humans. In the developed world at least, the fascination with wild canids doubtless stems from people’s captivation with domestic dogs – everybody feels they are an expert on canids! While
most people may be familiar with only the better known members of the dog family, such as the grey wolf and the red fox, there are in fact 36 species of wolves, dogs, jackals and foxes. They attract hugely disproportionate interest from academics, conservationists, veterinarians, wildlife managers and
the general public.
This book brings together in single volume an astonishing synthesis of research done in the last twenty years and is the first truly compendious synthesis on wild canids. Beginning with a complete account of all 36 canid species, there follow six review chapters that emphasise topics most relevant to canid conservation science, including evolution and systematics, behavioural ecology, population genetics, diseases, conflict/control of troublesome species, and conservation tools. Fifteen
detailed case studies then delve deeply into the very best species investigations currently available written by all the leading figures in the field. Much of the material is previously unpublished and will make fascinating reading far beyond the confines of canid specialists. These chapters portray the
unique attributes of wild canids, their fascinating (and conflictive) relationship with man, and suggestions for future research and conservation measures for the Canidae. While most canid species are widespread and thrive in human dominated landscapes, several are in severe jeopardy; habitat loss, illegal hunting, persecution by farmers and disease all imperil dwindling populations. A final chapter analyses the requirements of, and approaches to, practical conservation, with lessons that go
far beyond the dog family. It concentrates particular attention on priorities for the protection of the most threatened canid species, including the red wolf, African wild dog, Ethiopian wolf, Island fox and Darwin’s fox.
The wild canids provide examples that will thrill the evolutionary biologists and theoretician, enthral the natural historian and challenge the conservationist and wildlife manager. Anybody interested in evolutionary and behavioural biology, in mammals, in the environment, or in conservation will find much that is new and enriching in this book.