Hoofed Mammals of Alberta


241 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 1-55105-037-4
DDC 599.73'5'097123




Illustrations by Robert Neaves and Linda Dunn
Reviewed by Patrick Colgan

Patrick Colgan is associate director of programs at the Canadian Museum
of Nature in Ottawa.


As its cover claims, this book is indeed “the complete reference for
naturalists, sport hunters, scientists, students, game ranchers, and
managers.” Just as the nine species of hoofed mammals in Alberta is a
record for any area in North America, so is the amount of information
packed between the covers of this volume.

The opening material outlines the urgent problems surrounding these
fauna and the need for a synthesis of relevant knowledge. The succeeding
chapters focus on central aspects of the zoology and management of the
group. There are reviews of the phylogeny and taxonomy of the species;
methods of identification through morphology, behavior, tracks, and
scats; the evolution of communicative signals in different sensory
modalities; and types and incidences of diseases and parasites.

The geographical distributions and ecological niches result from
habitat preferences and nutritional needs. Population dynamics in this
century show large fluctuations resulting from hunting pressures and
habitat changes. The analysis of hunting includes demographic and
temporal patterns, economic aspects, information on trophy evaluation
and outfitting, and conflicts with agricultural and urban interests.
Management involving biological, economic, and social dimensions is
considered in terms of available techniques and their history in the
province. Opposing viewpoints are presented on controversial issues such
as translocation of groups, game farming, poaching, aboriginal hunting,
and natural predation, where no simple predator–prey cycles have been
found. On form and function there is a compilation of anatomical,
physiological, and related findings.

Each chapter is densely packed with data; general models of processes
such as population dynamics are provided; illustrations are plentiful;
and the tables, references, and appendices are extensive. In sum, this
book is an excellent addition to the regional literature of wildlife


Stelfox, J. Brad., “Hoofed Mammals of Alberta,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/13483.