Description : The musteloids are the most diverse super-family among carnivores, ranging from little known, exotic, and highly-endangered species to the popular and familiar, and include a large number of introduced invasives. They feature terrestrial, fossorial, arboreal, and aquatic members, ranging from tenacious predators to frugivorous omnivores, span weights from a 100g weasel to 30kg giant otters, and express a range of social behaviours from the highly gregarious to the fiercely solitary. Musteloids are the subjects of extensive cutting-edge research from phylogenetics to the evolution of sociality and through to the practical implications of disease epidemiology, introduced species management, and climate change. Their diversity and extensive biogeography inform a wide spectrum of ecological theory and conservation practice. The editors of this book have used their combined 90 years of experience working on the behaviour and ecology of wild musteloids to draw together a unique network of the world's most successful and knowledgeable experts. The book begins with nine review chapters covering hot topics in musteloid biology including evolution, disease, social communication, and management. These are followed by twenty extensive case studies providing a range of comprehensive geographic and taxonomic coverage. The final chapter synthesises what has been discussed in the book, and reflects on the different and diverse conservation needs of musteloids and the wealth of conservation lessons they offer. Biology and Conservation of Musteloids provides a conceptual framework for future research and applied conservation management that is suitable for graduate level students as well as professional researchers in musteloid and carnivore ecology and conservation biology. It will also be of relevance and use to conservationists and wildlife managers.
Description : The story of invasive species in New Zealand is unlike any other in the world. By the mid-thirteenth century, the main islands of the country were the last large landmasses on Earth to remain uninhabited by humans, or any other land mammals. New Zealand’s endemic fauna evolved in isolation until first Polynesians, and then Europeans, arrived with a host of companion animals such as rats and cats in tow. Well-equipped with teeth and claws, these small furry mammals, along with the later arrival of stoats and ferrets, have devastated the fragile populations of unique birds, lizards and insects. Carolyn M. King brings together the necessary historical analysis and recent ecological research to understand this long, slow tragedy. As a comprehensive historical perspective on the fate of an iconic endemic fauna, this book offers much-needed insight into one of New Zealand’s longest-running national crises.