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Wolves on the Hunt


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Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Acknowledgments Introduction: The Wolf as a Killing Machine Chapter 1 - White-Tailed Deer Chapter 2 - Moose Chapter 3 - Caribou Chapter 4 - Elk Chapter 5 - Mountain Sheep and Goats Chapter 6 - Bison Chapter 7 - Musk Oxen Chapter 8 - Miscellaneous Prey Conclusion Appendix: List of Scientific Names of Birds and Mammals Mentioned Literature Cited Index A Note on Accompanying Videos by Robert K. Landis Videos of wolf-prey interactions, by Robert K. Landis, are available to readers of the print book at the following URL and with these password credentials: URL: User name: wolves Password: hunt2015 Readers of the ebook will find the videos embedded in the text.

About the Author

L. David Mech is a senior research scientist with the US Geological Survey and an adjunct professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology and Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior at the University of Minnesota. He is the author or editor of many books, including Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, coedited by Luigi Boitani and published by the University of Chicago Press. Douglas W. Smith is currently project leader for the Yellowstone Gray Wolf Restoration Project in Yellowstone National park. He is coauthor of The Wolves of Yellowstone. Daniel R. MacNulty is an assistant professor of wildlife ecology at Utah State University.


"Fascinating. . . . Loaded with first-hand accounts of the various stages of gray wolf (Canis lupus) hunting, chronicled throughout mostly North America, the book is illustrated with a captivating collection of photographs and informative comparison data charts. . . . A celebration of . . . the emerging knowledge base about wolves."--David Kline "International Wolf "
"A gorgeous new book . . ., which represents in one slightly oversized popular volume some of the most comprehensive research to date on the way wolves hunt their prey. . . . It's written artlessly but directly, with the aim of updating and broadening some popular misconceptions about the way wolves operate in the wild. As a work of natural history, neither it nor anything else can match the lyricism of Barry Lopez's Of Wolves and Men, but as a general-audience monograph, it's one of the most valuable works of science-writing to appear this year. Kudos to the folks at the University of Chicago Press for giving it such a handsome volume."--Steve Donoghue "Open Letters Monthly "
"Across decades of writing about wolves and the science associated with their study, I've seldom encountered a more gripping opening to a natural history book. . . . Wolves on the Hunt is an in-depth analysis of how wolves kill prey to survive. This new book could not come at a better time. Even though the year is 2015 there remains in the American West some pretty puritanical notions about alleged wolf behavior that have little basis in reality. . . . Mech, considered the world's foremost wolf authority, and his colleagues deliver a hair-raising and at times grim narrative about how lobos stalk. . . . No matter what lobo camp you're in, you'll find Wolves on the Hunt to be endlessly fascinating reading."--Todd Wilkinson "Jackson Hole News&Guide "
"To be honest, I was a bit giddy having the opportunity to review Wolves on the Hunt. . . . The book is a fascinating account. . . . Each chapter is extremely detailed and exhaustive, covering all known wolf prey and how they hunt them. This truly is the capstone to first author Mech's outstanding >55 year career studying wolves, and the painstaking time involved in writing this all-encompassing book on wolf predation with first-hand . . . descriptions of wolves hunting various prey is a tribute to all three authors. It takes endless hours of dedication and perseverance to make these observations."--Jonathan (Jon) Way, Eastern Coyote/Coywolf Research "Canadian Field-Naturalist "
"Among the many hotly debated topics related to the appearance of dogs in the lives of humans is how often and where it first occurred. . . . We learn from Wolves on the Hunt that while wolves appear excellent at finding and trailing game, they are not very good at making the kill, succeeding perhaps half the time. It is dangerous work at which humans with their weapons excel. Imagine the scene: Human hunters locate wolves on the hunt by watching ravens who are known to follow them. Human hunters move in for the kill and take as many animals as they can. If smart, they might share immediately with the wolves. If not, the wolves might consume what the humans do not carry off or follow them back to their encampment to take what they can. The rest is a tale of accommodation through socialization--the ability to bond with another being--and all that entails."--Mark Derr "The Bark "
"In reading Wolves on the Hunt you will learn that death has shaped life for millions of years. You'll learn that no activity is more important to the wolf than predation; and although it's a tough and frustrating habit that often fails, wolves survive only because they refuse to give up. By shedding light on these and other important findings, Wolves on the Hunt will be incredibly valuable to conservation scientists and citizens alike who appreciate wild places and wild things. It's a great illustration of the constant battle between predator and prey and of dogged determination."--Ted Turner, Chairman, Turner Endangered Species Fund
"This exhaustive account of wolves hunting and killing wild prey could only be compiled by the foremost wolf biologists of our day--Drs. Mech, Smith, and MacNulty. The easy-to-read book cites all the primary and secondary literature as well as many previously unpublished observations. Wolves on the Hunt will not only fascinate biologists and those teaching wildlife management but also the general public, including outdoor, environmental, and hunting groups. These detailed observations of predation let us imagine the struggles that our ancestors must have encountered as we competed with wolves to become the earth's supreme hunters of ungulates."--Ed Bangs, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wolf Recovery Coordinator from 1988 to 2011
"Very detailed. Never before has the predatory behavior of any carnivore been presented in such depth. Wolves on the Hunt is a contribution not just to our knowledge of the wolf but to our understanding of predation in general. The authors, experts in wolf predatory behavior who are in the best position to interpret these data from a scientific perspective, review a great amount of information and add an impressive number of accounts of hunting events observed by very few people. Their interpretations of the appropriate literature are clear and elegant. Very well written, easy to read both for specialists and for the general public interested in wolves and wildlife, Wolves on the Hunt is unique."--Juan Carlos Blanco, former adviser to the Ministry of the Environment on the Coordinated Plan for Wolf Conservation in Spain

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