Our objective in writing this book is modest. We seek to provide a text that can be used in both undergraduate and graduate level courses in wildlife management and conservation. Conservation is becoming an increasingly important component in the management of animal populations and their habitats.
We have recognized this development by including conservation in the new name for the text. New quantitative methods, developed over the last 10 years, are now so fundamental to management that we have included them at the most basic levels.
In addition, several chapters in the book will be useful to practicing wildlife managers. For example, we have included modern approaches to censusing, the use of age- and stage-structured data in demography studies, and the use of models as efficient methods for making decisions. We emphasize, in the last chapter, that all wildlife problems have to be addressed in the context of the whole ecosystem and cannot be solved in isolation of other species and environments.
In this edition we have rearranged the sequence of chapters better to reflect the progression from individuals to populations, communities, and ecosystems. We have also included four new chapters.
Chapter 5 deals with how animals find their food and the consequences that this will have on their populations.
Chapter 14 addresses the increasing use of age- and stage-structured information in populations as a method to identify rates of increase, a valuable tool in conservation situations where censusing is impractical.
Chapter 15 explains how to use modern statistical methods to choose between alternative models, for example different models that describe a population that is changing.
We have added a final chapter (Chapter 21) that provides an overview of community and ecosystem ecology as background to the way we manage whole systems. Modern approaches to wildlife ecology, conservation, and management often demand sophisticated quantitative methods of data analysis and modeling.
We have therefore provided an accompanying CD that illustrates in close detail how to calculate most of the mathematical concepts discussed in the book, including all of the simulation models.
To further the development of problem-solving skills, we also include a series of computer labs, touching on several key concepts. All of the quantitative material has been developed using Mathcad, a powerful computer-aided design package for mathematics. A free evaluation copy of Mathcad 13 is provided with the book to assist the reader in the development of these skills.
Anne Gunn and David Grice were invaluable in bringing together the first edition of this book after Graeme Caughley fell ill. Fleur Sheard prepared the line drawings for the book. David Grice has also helped us in picking up the strands of the first edition 10 years later.
We would like to thank the following people for their help with material and constructive comments: Sue Briggs, Andrea Byrom, Steve Cork,
Charles Krebs, Graham Nugent, John Parkes, Roger Pech, Laura Prugh, Wendy Ruscoe,
Dolph Schluter, Julian Seddon, Grant Singleton, David Spratt, Eric Spurr, Vernon
Thomas, and Bruce Warburton.