WAZA News, 2012-01, p21

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Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Vol. 2: Hoofed Mammals Edited by Don E. Wilson and Russell A. Mittermeier Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, 2011 | 885 pp ISBN 978-84-96553-77-4 (hardback)

The huge success of the Handbook of the Birds of the World clearly demonstrates that works of such scope, excellence, consummate expertise and beauty provide a vital foundation for the appreciation and conservation of the species they describe. This fundamental principle also underlies a companion project, the long-awaited Handbook of the Mammals of the World. For the first time ever, this eight-volume series covers every species of mammal on Earth with the combination of scientific rigour and readability for which Lynx Edicions has become well known. The Handbook of the Mammals of the World is published in association with Conservation International and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as an important driving force behind this series is to support the conservation of mammals and their habitats. A clear goal of this series is to take an additional step to the IUCN Red List by examining the status of every one of the world’s mammal species, describing the threats and outlining the possible conservation measures.

The first volume of the Handbook of the Mammals of the World, covering the carnivores of the world, was published in 2009. The recently published second volume covers all currently recognised hoofed mammals, which include many families of large, well-known animals often exhibited in zoos. They are revealed in all their fascinating detail, in riveting accounts written by some of the most renowned authorities in the world. The species accounts supply complete and up-to-date information at a time when new and increasingly sophisticated methods of genetic analysis are reshaping our knowledge of these species. To give just one example, the family Bovidae has almost doubled its size in the last five years, to the 279 distinct species known today. The book, which costs around 200 Swiss Francs, contains close to 900 pages with 56 colour plates, 664 colour photographs, 430 distribution maps and about 5,000 bibliographical references. The other six volumes of the Handbook of the Mammals of the World, covering the remaining mammalian taxa (Vol. 3: Primates, Vol. 4: Sea Mammals, Vol. 5: Marsupials, Vol. 6: Rodents, Vol. 7: Insectivores, Vol. 8: Bats), are forthcoming.