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Ecology and Conservation of the Sirenia
Dugongs and Manatees

$155.00 (P)

Part of Conservation Biology

John G. Robinson
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  • Date Published: January 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521888288

$155.00 (P)

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About the Authors
  • Dugongs and manatees, the only fully aquatic herbivorous mammals, live in the coastal waters, rivers and lakes of more than 80 subtropical and tropical countries. Symbols of fierce conservation battles, sirenian populations are threatened by multiple global problems. Providing comparative information on all four surviving species, this book synthesises the ecological and related knowledge pertinent to understanding the biology and conservation of the sirenia. It presents detailed scientific summaries, covering sirenian feeding biology; reproduction and population dynamics; behavioural ecology; habitat requirements and threats to their continued existence. Outlining the current conservation status of the sirenian taxa, this unique study will equip researchers and professionals with the scientific knowledge required to develop proactive, precautionary and achievable strategies to conserve dugongs and manatees. Supplementary material is available online at:

    • A synopsis of the status and conservation needs of sirenia in more than 80 countries, offering detailed material for each species and status information for each country or region
    • Addresses human values, food security, poverty and other topics to equip researchers and professionals with the tools to develop successful strategies for conserving wildlife and habitat, in both developing and developed countries
    • Summarises the ecological breadth and diversity of extinct sirenians and their likely origins, providing readers with a greater appreciation of the evolutionary uniqueness of the sirenia
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "… this book is a synthesis and communication tool for the ongoing work of hundreds of people, from field researchers in Florida or students in Australia to villagers in Senegal. The aim is to provide a creative and practical way to sustain a healthy environment for these unique aquatic mammals, and for us all."
    Edita Magileviciute, Oryx

    "Drs Helene Marsh, Thomas O'Shea, and John Reynolds represent over 100 years of research legacy through their commitment and dedication to advancing the understanding of these once little known representatives of a unique order of mammals. It is evident from the size of the tome that they have provided detail for the reader that will exceed the greatest expectations. Not surprisingly, after reading this fascinating and comprehensively clear book, I am duly impressed , as you will likely be."
    Robert Bonde, Ecology

    "… a most worth addition to the set. This book provides an excellent summary of what we know, what is needed and what still needs to be learned."
    Lawrence M. Dill, Marine Biology Research

    "Helene Marsh, Tom O'Shea, and John Reynolds all stand in the 1st rank amoung the scores of workers who have contributed to our knowledge of the living sirenians during the past 35 years … Each is distinguished by the quantity and quality of his or her original research and conservation efforts regarding these endangered marine mammals. No one alive or dead would be better qualified to synthesize the present state of that knowledge - especially because they are jointly responsbile for so much of it. We are fortunate to have from their hands this magisterial digest of what is known about the ecology and conservation of the sirenians. If the answer to your question on these topics isn't here, it probably isn't in the primary literature either."
    Daryl Domning, Journal of Mammalogy

    "This volume is the most complete single scholarly source on the subject of sirenian ecology and conservation, and is likely to be so for some time. It is an essential book for all professionals engaged in sirenian conservation or research activities, and will also be a welcome addition to the libraries of other marine mammalogists."
    Roger Reep, Marine Mammal Science

    "… both topical and timely..this book is eminently readable … meets a high scientific standard, is clearly written, and is well illustrated … It is suitable for a wide audience including researchers, resource managers, and policymakers, and will also appeal to the serious graduate student with an interest in marine mammal biology, conservation and management."
    Stephen Benjamins, Biological Conservation

    "It is evident from the size of the tome that they have provided detail for the reader that will exceed the greatest expectations. Not surprisingly, after reading this fascinating and comprehensively clear book, I am duly impressed, as you likely will be … this book adds to a wealth of previous works in animal conservation, behaviour, ecology, effects of human impacts, genetics and population biology. This volume will be a welcome addition to any reference library and particularly is recommended for the library of al conservation-minded students interested in this unique group of mammals."
    The Ecological Society of Americas

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521888288
    • length: 536 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.96kg
    • contains: 116 b/w illus. 33 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword John G. Robinson
    1. Introduction
    2. Steller's sea cow: discovery, biology and exploitation of a relict giant sirenian
    3. Affinities, origins and diversity of the sirenia through time
    4. Feeding biology
    5. Behaviour and habitat use
    6. Life history, reproductive biology and population dynamics
    7. Threats
    8. Conservation status: criteria, methods and an assessment of the extant species of sirenia
    9. Conservation opportunities
    List of online supplementary materials

  • Resources for

    Ecology and Conservation of the Sirenia

    Helene Marsh, Thomas J. O'Shea, John E. Reynolds III

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  • Authors

    Helene Marsh, James Cook University, North Queensland
    Helene Marsh is Professor of Environmental Science and Dean of Graduate Research Studies at James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. She is an international authority on the conservation biology of dugongs, sea turtles and coastal cetaceans, and led the team that developed the United Nations Environment Programme global Dugong Action Plan.

    Thomas J. O'Shea, US Geological Survey
    Thomas J. O'Shea is Scientist Emeritus at the U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins, Colorado. A mammalogist, he conducted research on manatees for many years and has served on the federal Florida Manatee Recovery Team, the Committee of Scientific Advisors to the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission and the IUCN Sirenia Specialist Group.

    John E. Reynolds III, Mote Marine Laboratory. Florida
    John E. Reynolds III is a Senior Scientist at Mote Marine Laboratory, Florida. He served as Chairman of the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission between 1991 and 2010 and has recently worked closely with the United Nations Environment Programme to develop and implement a Caribbean-wide Marine Mammal Action Plan.


    John G. Robinson

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