About this book
Capybaras are not merely unusual, they are extraordinary. It is widely known that they are the largest living rodent (c. 50kg), but it is less well known that their biology is exceptional in many other regards, as documented in this book, Capybara: Biology, Use and Conservation of an Exceptional Neotropical Species. With a suit of adaptations to a semi-aquatic lifestyle, and a remarkable social system, the capybara is the South American ecological equivalent of the medium-sized ungulates of Africa. Their size, adaptations and habitat make them fascinating in their own right, and a revealing model for studies of the evolution of animal societies. Furthermore, from prehistory to the present day they have been hunted for their meat and skins, and nowadays they are both farmed and harvested, which makes them an illuminating case study for discussions of sustainable use. This blend of attributes makes the capybara a focus of specialist interest and a source of general principles, and these two ends of the readership spectrum are both encompassed by the extraordinary international team of 36 authors that have contributed the 24 inter-disciplinary chapters of this book. Written in an accessible style that will satisfy generalists, practitioners and specialists alike, this book represents the compendious ‘one-stop-shop’ that will be the benchmark publication on capybaras and on neotropical wildlife management for years to come.