19 September, 2012
Capybara: Biology, Use and Conservation of an Exceptional Neotropical Species
David Macdonald first started working on the social organisation of capybaras in the late 1970s, leading to two WildCRU doctoral studies during the 1980s. Emilio Herrera worked with David in Venezuela on their behaviour and ecology and Jose Roberto Moreira in Brazil on demography and reproduction. Therefore we are particularly delighted to announce the publication of 'Capybara: Biology, Use and Conservatino of an Exceptional Neotropical Species' for which three of the four editing authors form the original WildCRU team - Macdonald himself and the long-fledged Herrera and Moreira.
The capybara stands out among large neotropical herbivores as the last remnant of a long line of gigantic rodents that evolved in South America over millions of years. With its large size, gregarious temper and semi-aquatic habits, the capybara has attracted the attention of explorers and writers since the sixteenth century. The widely-distributed rodent has been the subject of serious ecological study over the last 40 years in South America, and is one of the best known native mammals of the region. However, modern original investigations of the capybara have often been left as unpublished theses, or hidden in institutional projects and databases, inaccessible to outside study. This book provides a global overview of up-to-date knowledge on the capybara's biology, ecology, and management, and represents a coordinated effort from a multidisciplinary and preeminantly South American team. The capybara represents a tremendous resource for South America with the greatest potential for sustainable production and management, and the book seeks to raise awareness of the value and ecological importance of this species, and of the diverse neotropical fauna as a whole.