During the last two decades, zooarchaeologists have increasingly focused aspects of their work on conservation biology. Zooarchaeological data represents an empirical record of past human-animal interactions, which provides conservation with a deep temporal perspective. There are many challenges that face the archaeologist as conservation biologist, however, that have little to do with deep time, faunal remains, and zooarchaeological method and theory. Applied Zooarchaeology uses a series of case studies with which each of the authors has relevant personal experience to explore the types of interdisciplinary challenges that zooarchaeologists face when crossing into the world of environmental management and animal conservation. Never has there been a greater need for multi-vocal perspectives in conservation biology. Applied Zooarchaeology shows zooarchaeologists how to use zooarchaeological perspectives to help meet those needs, while crossing traditional academic disciplinary boundaries.
Foreword by Steven D. Emslie
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 2. Taphonomy and Conservation of Freshwater Mussels
Chapter 3. Sea Otters: Historical Extirpations and Modern Reintroductions
Chapter 4. California Condor Conservation, North America Rewilding, and Pleistocene Overkill
Chapter 5. Takahe Translocation in New Zealand
Chapter 6. Applied Zooarchaeology and the Deer Problem in Central Texas
Chapter 7. Conclusion
Steve Wolverton is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of North Texas. His research focuses on animal ecology, zooarchaeology, and ethnobiology.
Lisa Nagaoka is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of North Texas. Her research focuses on archaeology and human behavioural ecology in the Pacific and the American Southwest.
Torben Rick is Curator of Human Environmental Interactions and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on the archaeology and historical ecology of coastal and island peoples, especially on the North American Pacific and Atlantic coasts.
"This book provides an insightful examination of how interdisciplinary efforts [...] can be effective in addressing conservation problems. It joins a growing list of resources in applied zooarchaeology and paleozoology, which form an essential database that all new disciplines must acquire."
– Steven D. Emslie, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
"The writing style is succinct, jargon is kept to a minimum, and each point is direct and cogent [...] Applied Zooarchaeology: Five Case Studies shows how locally impactful, interdisciplinary historical ecological research can be achieved in a highly digestible way. As such, it is well worth the read."
– Jonathan Dombrowsky in Ethnobiology Letters
"[A] readable book with an important message for students [...] [S]hould also be read by conservation biologists and wildlife managers who want a better understanding of zooarchaeology. [I]t could be used as a supplementary reading in various archaeology courses [...] to give students a better perspective about the applications of our discipline to real world issues."
– Steven R. James in California Archaeology
"This slim, yet by no means lightweight, volume contains five case studies highlighting the diverse applications and potential role of zooarchaeology in conservation [...] Each chapter has a set of key terms and discussion questions that make it ideal for classroom teaching or easy reference [...] [S]tands as an important contribution to the growing interdisciplinary field of applied zooarchaeology."
– Suzanne E. Pilaar Birch in American Antiquity
"[P]rovides a clear overview and sets standards for students and those new to the subject of applied zooarchaeology [...] This book will be most effective in the classroom when paired with detailed ecological, biological and zooarchaeological data that will allow students to delve deeply into the methodological background and political implications of this work, and [...] as an important resource for interdisciplinary research teams."
– Catherine F. West in The Holocene
"A highly readable primer for applied zooarchaeology. Through a series of case studies, the authors highlight fundamental issues of data quality, sampling, and taphonomy. This book will be of interest to archaeologists who want their research to engage real-world problems. Get a copy – and order extra copies for your students."
– Virginia L. Butler, Portland State University
"A prescient and useful primer on a nascent subfield of great importance for archaeology. Students will learn important lessons from this concise, highly readable work and its honest appraisals of the practical difficulties and disciplinary barriers that must be overcome if the value of zooarchaeological data is to be realized."
– Evan Peacock, Mississippi State University
"A valuable compilation of five case studies that illustrate why and how paleozoological datasets inform conservation programs and policies. Although written for the uninitiated applied zooarchaeologist, the integration of archaeological and ecological theory and application makes this book an essential addition to the libraries of scientists and practitioners in conservation biology."
– Charles R. Randklev, Texas A & M University