Ranging from the largest terrestrial carnivore, the Polar Bear, and hyper-predatory wild cats, to the tiny Least Weasel that can squeeze through a wedding ring, the true carnivores - order Carnivora - include some of the world's most charismatic, admired, feared and spectacular creatures. The first comprehensive guide to every terrestrial species, this book profiles all 250 of the world's carnivores. A detailed account for each species describes key identification characteristics, distribution and habitat, behaviour, feeding ecology, social patterns, life-history statistics, conservation and the latest on classification, including some unexpected discoveries. Eighty-six magnificent specially commissioned colour plates by top wildlife artist Priscilla Barrett depict each species, with subspecies and colour variations shown for many. There are line drawings of skulls (230) and footprints (110), as well as black-and-white sketches depicting the behaviour of specific species (45). This is an essential reading for anyone interested in wildlife - appeals to travellers, wildlife enthusiasts, mammal students, conservation planners and specialists.
The countries with many of the most spectacular carnivores are of key importance as ecotourism destinations. Expanding local markets as wildlife conservation assumes greater prominence locally.
LUKE HUNTER has worked on the ecology and conservation of carnivores since 1992, and is currently President of the conservation charity Panthera. His doctorate and postdoctoral research involved work on big cat conservation. He has contributed to more than 100 scientific papers and articles; this is his sixth book.