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We need whale poo 📷 WDC NA

Whales are our climate allies – meet the scientists busy proving it

At Whale and Dolphin Conservation, we're working hard to bring whales and the ocean into...
Minke whale © Ursula Tscherter - ORES

The whale trappers are back with their cruel experiment

Anyone walking past my window might have heard my groan of disbelief at the news...
Boto © Fernando Trujillo

Meet the legendary pink river dolphins

Botos don't look or live like other dolphins. Flamingo-pink all over with super-skinny snouts and...
Risso's dolphin entangled in fishing line and plastic bags - Andrew Sutton

The ocean is awash with plastic – can we ever clean it up?

You've seen pictures of plastic litter accumulating on beaches or marine wildlife swimming through floating...
Fin whale

Is this the beginning of the end for whaling off Iceland?

I'm feeling cautiously optimistic after Iceland's Fisheries Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir wrote that there is little...
Mykines Lighthouse, Faroe Islands

Understanding whale and dolphin hunts in the Faroe Islands – why change is not easy

Most people in my home country of the Faroe Islands would like to see an...

Dolphin scientists look like you and me – citizen science in action

Our amazing volunteers have looked out for dolphins from the shores of Scotland more than...
Atlantic white-sided dolphins

The Faroes dolphin slaughter that sparked an outcry now brings hope

Since the slaughter of at least 1,423 Atlantic white-sided dolphins at Skálafjørður in my home...

New Student Text Book about Marine Mammals launched.

Largely based on materials used in undergraduate programmes that the lead author, Professor Chris Parsons, has contributed to at a number of UK and US universities ‘An Introduction to Marine Mammal Biology and Conservation’, is arguably the first complete up-to-date introductory text for students that covers both the full range of marine mammal species and the many issues that affect them.

This book will be helpful for anyone interested in these animals and their conservation and who might feel that they lack a starting place to understand them. It will also be helpful to students on undergraduate and postgraduate courses concerned with marine conservation and conservation issues more generally.

 

 This large paperback has been deliberately produced to allow it to be within the purchasing power of students (it under £40). Nonetheless its 350 pages are highly and clearly illustrated and provide a well-researched and knowledgeable introduction to a wide range of topics. The main species covered include all the pinnipeds (the seals and sea lions), the sirenians (the sea cows) and the cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), and other chapters feature the sea and marine otters and polar bears.

The opening section on General Biology covers Evolution, Classification and Diversity, Adaptations to a Marine Environment and Underwater Sound. Part Two looks at the Ecology and Statuses of the various taxonomic groups and then, in Part Three, the focus is conservation. In its third and concluding section, the book, really comes into its own with excellent introductions to the relationship between these animals and people through the ages; a chapter devoted to Whaling and the International Whaling Commission; quite detailed chapters on threats to cetaceans and pinnipeds; and finally chapters reviewing marine mammal laws and marine mammal-related tourism. The book concludes with a interesting review of research techniques.

Key features of the book include
 
– that it is highly illustrated;
– that each chapter comes with an extensive list of references and further reading for those that wish to know more about any topic; and
– the use of numerous ‘Exploring the Depths’ boxes inserted into the main text. These boxes provide a further insight into key topics such as ‘Dolphin Intelligence’ and ‘Conservation of the Dugong’ and are mainly contributed by a wide range of guest contributors. They help make the book a lively and stimulating read.    

Book details: it is 350 pages long; Published by Jones & Bartlett Learning; written in English and all diagrams and photos are in black and white. ISBN-10: 0763783447; ISBN-13: 978-0763783440. The current price on Amazon.com is £36.99 with free delivery.

 

Professor ECM (Chris) Parsons during a recent expedition on the Panama Canal