Otters are highly charismatic and popular animals of very considerable concern to conservationists worldwide. Written by the pre-eminent authority in the field, this book builds on the reputation of the author's landmark monograph of the European otter, Wild Otters (OUP, 1995). Furthermore, its broader scope to include all species of otter in North America as well as Europe and elsewhere leads to a deeper synthesis that greatly expands the book's overall relevance and potential readership. Aimed at naturalists, scientists and conservationists, its personal style and generously illustrated text will appeal to amateurs and professionals alike. It emphasises recent research and conservation management initiatives for all 13 species of otter worldwide, incorporates recent molecular research on taxonomy and population genetics, and discusses the wider implications of otter studies for ecology and conservation biology. As well as enchanting direct observations of the animals, there is guidance about how and where to watch and study them.
From otters in the British and American lakes and rivers, to sea otters in the Pacific Ocean, giant otters in the Amazon and other species in Africa and Asia, this book provides an engaging approach to their fascinating existence, to the science needed to understand it, and to the very real threats to their survival.
Studied animal behaviour under Prof. Niko Tinbergen (FRS, Nobel Laureate) at Oxford. Co-founder of the Serengeti Research Institute, Tanzania, where he carried out research over seven years, before returning to Oxford, and later to the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology in Banchory, Scotland. After becoming Senior Principal Research Officer, he retired as emeritus in 1997. Awarded the scientific medal of the Zoological Society of London and the scientific medal of the British Mammal Society, he obtained a DSc from the University of Aberdeen and was made Honorary Professor, University of Aberdeen in 1998. He has carried out research projects on mammals and birds on all continents, published 6 previous books and some 120 scientific papers. He has studied otters in the field for over 20 years, and published about 40 papers and one previous book on the ecology of otters.
1. Otter ecology and its background ; 2. Pen-pictures. Thirteen otters of the world: some natural history ; 3. Evolutionary relationships, questions and methods of otter ecology ; 4. Habitats ; 5. Groups and loners: social organization ; 6. Scent-marking and interactions: social behaviour ; 7. Diets ; 8. Resources: about fish and other prey ; 9. Otters fishing: hunting behaviour and strategies ; 10. Thermo- insulation: a limiting factor ; 11. Populations, recruitment and competition ; 12. Survival and mortality ; 13. Syntheses: challenges to otter survival ; 14. Otters, people and conservation