Book review: Otters of the World

| November 23, 2014 | Reply

Otters of the World by Paul Yoxon and Grace M. Yoxon is a new and interesting book for everybody interested in otters.
The authors are otter conservationists and have been involved in otter conservation for many years.

The book is written mostly for a general audience. It covers basic otter ecology and then every otter species in the world.

It starts with a general introduction to otters (“What are otters?”). It is short with 11 pages but covers enough information about otters so that the reader has a pretty good idea about what makes an otter.

The texts for each species cover both the basic biology and the conservation of each species. Of course the book cannot go into too much detail for each species as this would require a much bigger book. For those interested I recommend Hans Kruuk’s “Otters ecology, behaviour and conservation”.

At the end of the book are further chapters about the future of otters and how they can be saved. The book covers the problems otters have today like pollution, roads, habitat destruction or persecution.
The solutions provided for otter conservation make sense and it shows that the authors really know a lot about otter conservation.
It is not all negative and the book also shows positive developments.

The very well written book is beautifully illustrated with photographs of every species incl. very rare ones like the Hairy-nosed Otter or the Marine Otter.

As mentioned above the book is mostly written for a general audience but even specialists and scientists may find some useful information. But here comes the only negative remark I have. The book does not have any scientific references. It lists a few books at the end but no list of scientific papers or where the information in the book comes from. This is a problem for people (scientists and anybody else with a deeper interest) looking for further information.
But fortunately a Google search will help to find scientific papers about otters.

Otter conservation does work as can be seen in the recovery of the Eurasian Otter in the UK, Germany and other places. This book should help inform people how otters are doing and how they can be protected.

Overall this is a great addition to the library of everyone interested in otters. Recommended.

More information on the publishers website:
Otters of the World

It is great to see another interesting addition to the natural history books published by Whittles Publishing.
Over on my European Raptors website I have also reviewed some of their books including:

Kestrels for company
A saga of sea eagles

Note: I got a free copy from the publisher to review it. The opinion here is entirely my own, though.

Category: books

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