Great Plains Natural Science Society


Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist • 50(2): December 2018


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


Canids of the World is one of those reads where just when you think that something cannot be beat, this book comes out. What I mean by that is that I have read many works on wolves and other canids, most recently Nate Blakeslee’s American Wolf (Way 2017), and I have enjoyed and been enthralled with many of them. But Canids of the World may take the cake for being the most impressive book available on canids. For a modest price of just under $30.00, you can own a book that has over 600 amazing high-resolution glossy photographs of every canid species (and subspecies) known from around the globe. These color plates, which are based on real photographs, are the core of this guide (p. 25). Canids of the World is an extremely detailed book and a very impressive feat to fit all of the information on canids into an attractive, manageably sized field guide of 331 pages.

Canids are the most widespread carnivoran family as they occur throughout the world from the Arctic to the tropical forests, living just about everywhere except Antarctica (p. 20). Given the book’s dense content, author José Castelló does a fantastic job of making this book accessible and readable to a wide audience. As the book’s cover jacket notes, “This stunningly illustrated and easy-to-use field guide covers every species of the world’s canids, from the gray wolf [Canis lupus] of North America to the dhole [Cuon alpinus] of Asia, from African jackals [Canis spp.] to the South American bush dog [Speothos venaticus]. It features more than 150 superb color plates depicting every kind of canid and detailed facing-page species accounts that describe key identification features, morphology, distribution, subspeciation, habitat, and conservation status in the wild. The book also includes distribution maps and tips on where to observe each species, making Canids of the World the most comprehensive and user-friendly guide to these intriguing and spectacular mammals.”