Burmese pythons are native to Southeast Asia, so when one showed up dead along the side of a Florida highway in 1979, scientists wondered where it came from. No one knew the snakes had launched a full-scale invasion. Pet pythons that escaped or were released by their owners started breeding in the wild, and these enormous predators began eating every animal in their path. Today a group of scientists at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida is tracking Burmese pythons to find ways to stop their spread. Page Plus links lead to video clips and photos of the scientists working in the field. Delve into the science of pythons and their role as invasive predators.
When you live in bear or cougar territory, you learn to lock your garbage cans indoors, keep your pets safe, and not feed wild animals. This exciting and highly illustrated book focuses on the “human avoiders,” animals that are sometimes found on the fringes of urban developments, where humans are the new kids on the block. Readers will gain an understanding of human-wildlife conflict, as well as key concepts in wildlife conservation of animals such as gray wolves, mountain lions, and gray foxes.
Paris, France has a population of 2.2 million people and 3.8 million rats. Toronto, Canada is the raccoon capital of the world. This intriguing book focuses on urban animals called “exploiters.” These are animals such as squirrels, raccoons, skunks, opposums, rats, and crows who have turned living near humans to their advantage. An examination reveals the ways in which these animals have adapted to living alongside humans. Special feature boxes address city-specific animal control and rehabilitation programs.
Would you be surprised to see a coyote wandering down a suburban street? Once considered a native of open grasslands and plains, coyotes have become “adaptors” to the human territory of paved streets and houses. An examination reveals the ways in which animals such as coywolves, white-tailed deer, red foxes, red-tailed hawks, and alligators live on the periphery of developed areas. Special sections address encroachment and how humans can learn to adapt to wild animals in their backyards.
An estimated 70 million feral cats live in the United States alone—decimating bird populations and threatening public health. This informative book investigates the growing populations of "obligates"—abandoned pets, now wild and producing feral offspring, and introduced animals that live in urban and urban fringe areas. An examination reveals the impact these animals are having on resources, space, and native species. Additional content focuses on the charities and organizations that help care for and limit the numbers of feral animals.
Less than two decades ago, four Island Fox subspecies faced extinction. Human activities, including pollution and the introduction of invasive species, threw the Channel Islands’ ecosystem out of balance. Thanks to the concerted efforts of wildlife biologists, government officials, and others, the island fox has made the fastest recovery of any mammal in the history of the Endangered Species Act. This fascinating book traces the events that nearly caused the island fox’s demise, and the collaborative efforts that led to recovery of this “comeback kit.”
Once thought to be extinct in the wild, the southern white rhino is now classified as near threatened and lives mostly on protected reserves. Over 100 years of conservation efforts have made it the only rhino of the five rhino species not listed as endangered. This engaging book explores how habitat loss and relentless poaching for their horns nearly brought this species to extinction. Readers will discover how this species was saved from extinction and whether similar strategies may help other rhino species in peril.