COLLEGE STATION – The new textbook, "Urban Wildlife Management," may be something to crow about.
"It comes as no surprise to wildlife managers that the major issues we are facing today are in urban areas. There's never been a book to use in teaching this," said Dr. Clark E. Adams, professor of wildlife at Texas A&M University.
Adams, who has been teaching the topic for more than 10 years, wrote the text with Dr. Sara Ash, wildlife professor at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky., and Kieran Lindsey, an urban wildlife biologist and consultant with The Wildlife Information Group in Cedar Crest, N.M.
The book is "the first comprehensive text to examine the issues that have led to the need for human-wildlife interface management strategies," according to the publisher, CRC Press.
Adams became determined to complete the book after years of collecting information to provide handouts for his students each semester.
Ash completed her doctorate with Adams as her lead professor, and Lindsey, another of his doctoral students, will graduate in May 2007.
"We should be getting ourselves geared up to train individuals to manage urban wildlife," Adams said of universities nationwide. "We have to look at the future in terms of what is necessary.
"It's not a how-to book. It's a book that gives you knowledge for the situation you are in. And based on that knowledge, you can take appropriate actions that make ecological sense, political sense, economic sense and cultural sense," he said.
The 330-page book, derived from more than 500 mostly peer-reviewed sources, is divided into six major components: the new wildlife management paradigm, landscapes, ecosystems, habitats and hazards, sociopolitical issues and special management considerations.
The cover photo is a squirrel on the Texas A&M campus eating a candy bar out of a wrapper, he noted.
Of interest beyond university classes, Adams noted, may be the job description for an urban wildlife biologist as cities become more aware of the need for such well-educated personnel.
The book includes the history of wildlife management in the U.S. and sets the scene for changes in human demographics that are impacting wildlife, he said. Perspective essays and case studies are provided to demonstrate both positive and negative interactions between people and wildlife. One of these is an essay about the importance of cemeteries with their numerous varieties of old and well-kept plants for birds.
It also describes how wildlife can lead to adverse situations such as overabundant populations of coyotes that may prey on pets, or the threat of contracting avian influenza from migrating birds, he noted.
"Finally we have a book on urban wildlife management," Adams said.
For more information about the book, see http://www.crcpress.com or call 800-272-7737.
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