This book reexamines current knowledge on the evolution, ecology, and conservation biology of both New World vultures (Cathartidae) and Old World vultures (Accipitridae) and seeks answers to past and present regional extinctions, colorizations, and conservation questions. Extinct species of both families are examined, as is the disputed evidence for familial similarities and differences currently under review by geneticists and ornithologists.
Conservation questions concern the extent to which recent land cover change (deforestation, urbanization, and desertification), wildlife depletions, and pollution have affected scavenging vultures. Such changes are examined as both positive and negative for vultures—a growing body of literature hints at the positive impacts of urban waste, more open forests, forest fires, landscape cultivation, road kills, and shore development, especially with increased attention to bird adaptation and "new" theories of adaptive management in conservation. These are contrasted with the conservation of other raptors and scavengers. Within new trends in conservation, with emphases on animal/human shared co-evolution in intensely habituated spaces, vulture conservation requires important new perspectives that contrast with the needs of other species conservation.
Table of Contents
Systematic List of Old World Vultures: The Griffons
Systematic List of Old World Vultures: Huge and Small Non-Griffons
Systematic List of New World Vultures
The Biological Evolution of Vultures
Vultures, Facultative Scavengers and Predators
Climate, Landscapes and Vultures
Vultures, Cultural Landscapes and Environmental Change
Vultures, Chemicals and Diseases
Vultures in Social History and Conservation
The Future of Vultures: Conclusions and Summary
"This book provides an accessible and well-referenced review of our current knowledge of vultures."
—Blaise Martay, BTO News
"This authoritative volume provides detailed information on all vultures of the world, including condors. Campbell's thorough review of the literature is reflected in the 188-page bibliography (some 3,700 references, cited throughout). Summing Up: Highly recommended."
—H. T. Armistead, Free Library of Philadelphia, in CHOICE
"Any college-level collection strong in specific wildlife topics will find this a unique and solid reference acquisition."