Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Fall 2009


Published in Great Plains Research 19.2 (Fall 2009): 258


Copyright 2009 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


Wildlife Science stems from the 25th Anniversary Symposium of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute in April 2006, the topic of which furnishes the book with its full title. The symposium’s organizers celebrated the occasion by inviting “a group of the best and brightest minds in wildlife science” to participate. The edited volume, with 38 authors contributing to a total of 20 chapters, is weighted towards Texas (23 of its authors are from the state), although there are examples from the rest of the U.S. and the world.

The book is organized into five parts: “Birds,” “Mammals,” “Habitat,” “Animal Health and Genetics,” and “Economic and Social Issues Affecting Wildlife Science.” Its title, however, is somewhat misleading, since the volume is more an opportunistic compilation of papers by symposium organizers rather than a comprehensive overview of wildlife science. If one were to plan a book on Wildlife Science from scratch, it would probably contain a completely different assemblage of parts and chapters. Part 2, “Mammals,” is illustrative. Its six chapters, which focus on mountain lions, bobcats, ocelots, bears, and ungulates, cover their subjects well, but they are not a comprehensive treatment of mammalian wildlife science or of the linkage between theory and management, one of the book’s stated objectives. Although chapter 3 explicitly focuses on the interplay between theory and management, it is mostly an exposition of the author’s perceived failure of theory.