Otters are highly charismatic and popular animals of very considerable concern to conservationists worldwide. Written by the pre-eminent authority in the field, Otters: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation builds on the reputation of the author's landmark monograph of the European otter, Wild Otters. 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 Otters: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation'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, Otters: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation provides an engaging approach to their fascinating existence, to the science needed to understand it, and to the very real threats to their survival.
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
5. Groups and loners: social organization
6. Scent-marking and interactions: social behaviour
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
"This is a much more comprehensive book than anything that has gone before and deals with otter species worldwide [...] This will be a mine of information for any scientist and a good read for anyone interested in mammals."
- Keith Day and Brian Rushton, Times Higher Education Supplement
"Enthusiasm is attractive, and from the start of this book oozes the excitement that Kruuk feels in the company of otters [...] don't be put off by the slightly academic feel to this book – the writing is very accessible."
"For a more in-depth look at one of our favourite mammals, Otters: Ecology, Behaviour and Conservation, by Hans Kruuk is an excellent choice. Kruuk is one of our leading behavioural scientists, and his knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject shine through."
- Stephen Moss, The Guardian
"This book represents an excellent and up-to-date elaboration of our knowledge on all 13 species worldwide and, as such, is an important book for anyone interested in otters. The author has done his best to satisfy the needs of both scientists and naturalists, and this book is very likely to become a significant reference source on these exciting and charismatic animals."
- Petra Hajkova, Folia Zoologica