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.
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Nova Science Publishers Inc