Review of Marine Mammals of Svalbard, by K. M. Kovacs, I. Gjertz & C. Lydersen

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Perrin, William F.

This slim but elegant volume fi lls a clear need. As the frequency of expeditions and tourist travel to Spitsbergen and the other islands of Svalbard increases, more and more observations of marine mammals are being made, and there has been no single convenient guide to their identifi cation. The book provides common (English, French, German and Norwegian) and scientifi c names, species description and information on distribution, abundance, general ecology, reproduction and life history, diet, exploitation and management, and current status for the polar bear, fi ve species of seals, the walrus, and 12 species of whales and dolphins that can be seen in the waters of Svalbard. High-quality portraits (painted by Pieter Folkens) and photographs are included for each species. The at-sea photographs of cetaceans are especially helpful. The authors have done an outstanding job of summarizing the scattered technical literature on these animals in clear terms understandable by all. This is aided by a glossary of 80 terms. The accounts are packed with interesting details of life history, behavior and ecology usually not encountered in a field guide.
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