The neotropical ecoregion consisting of South America, Central America, Southern Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, and Southern Florida, has long been considered an area rich in mammalian diversity and one that contains some of the world's iconic carnivores such as the Jaguar and Puma. These, and other carnivores represent the highest trophic levels within neotropical areas and as keystone species, can markedly alter omnivore and herbivore mammalian communities and indirectly, plant communities. Unfortunately, due to human population pressures, many neotropical areas and the mammals within them are increasingly at risk. This problem is compounded by the lack of current genetics, evolutionary biology and conservation data of these critical carnivores available to conservation biologists at the forefront of trying to preserve and protect these imperiled geographical areas. This book helps to meet these shortcomings by providing contributions from 60 of the world's leading scientists in the area of neotropical carnivores. The first section of the book covers molecular population genetics and phylogeography of diverse neotropical carnivores such as otters, coatis and other Mustelidae and Procyonidae, wild cats (jaguar, puma, ocelot, jaguarondi, Pampas cat, and Andean cat) and the Andean bear. Significant sections of the book are also devoted to the topics of reproduction, geometric morphometrics of wild canids and a complete paleontological view of the evolution of all neotropical carnivore groups. Furthermore, the book contains several chapters on the conservation details and varying cultural perspectives regarding the two larger and more mythical neotropical carnivores, the jaguar and the Andean bear, which together, are the paradigm for the conservation programs in Central and South America.
Preface; An Introduction to the Neotropical Carnivores: A Review; Molecular Phylogenetics of Two Neotropical Carnivores, Eira Barbara (Mustelidae) & Potos flavus (Procyonidae): No Existence of Putative Morphological Subspecies; How are Amazon & Orinoco Rivers Related? Preliminary Results on the Comparative History, Structure & Dynamics of Giant Otters, Pteronura brasiliensis, from Western Amazonia; Phylogenetics Relationships among Four Putative Taxa of Foxes of the Pseudoalopex genus (Canidae, Carnivora) & Molecular Population Genetics of Ps. culpaeus & Ps. Sechurae; The Genetic Demographic History & Phylogeography of the Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) by Means of Microsatellites & mtDNA markers; Population Genetics of the Felid leopardus guigna in Southern South America: Identifying Intraspecific Units for Conservation; Population Genetics & Spatial Sructure in Two Andean Cats (the Pampas cat, Leopardus pajeros & the Andean Mountain Cat, L. jacobita) by Means of Nuclear & Mitochondrial Markers & Some Notes on Skull Biometrics; Population Genetics & Phylogeographic Analyses of the jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) by Means of Three Mitochondrial Markers: The First Molecular Population Study of this Species; Craneometric & Microsatellite Genetic Differentiation among Putative Ocelot Subspecies (Leopardus pardalis) throughout Latin America; Determination of Microsatellite DNA Mutation Rates, Mutation Models & Mutation Bias in Four Main Felidae Lineages (European wild cat, Felis silvestris Ocelot, Leopardus pardalis Puma, Puma concolor Jaguar, Panthera onca); Population Genetics & Phylogeography of the Largest Wild Cat in the Americas: An Analysis of the Jaguar by Means of Microsatellites & Mitochondrial Gene Sequences; Craniometric Variation in Jaguar Subspecies (Panthera onca) from Colombia; Reproduction & Placentation in Neotropical Carnivores; Fossils of South American Land Carnivores (Carnivora, Mammalia); Andean Bear Core Area Overlap in the Intag Region, Ecuador; Hematology & Blood Chemistry of the Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) in Ecuador: Comparative Values between Captive Zoo Bears & Rehabilitated-Free Bears; State of the Andean Bear (Tremarctos ornatus) in Bolivia; Where Will Jaguars Roam? The Importance of Survival in Unprotected Lands; The Jaguar Corridor Initiative: A Range-Wide Conservation Strategy; Diversity, Distribution & Conservation of Bolivian Carnivores; Index.