A superb book! A Review of Mammals of PEI in the Bulletin of the Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists

FOR THE CSEB BULLETIN, MAY 2020 Book Review (Peter Wells)

Mammals of Prince Edward Island and Adjacent Marine Waters. R. Curley, P-Y Daoust, D.F. McAlpine, K. Riehl, and J.D. McAskill. 2019. Island Studies Press at UPEI (University of Prince Edward Island), Charlottetown, PEI. 300p.

A superb soft-cover book published recently is a comprehensive guide to Prince Edward Island’s mammals (excluding humans!). It covers in detail the 38 terrestrial mammals and 29 marine mammals of the island and surrounding waters, respectively, a remarkable biodiversity. The book sections are organized taxonomically, covering seven Mammalian Orders, one of which (Order Carnivora) includes both terrestrial and aquatic species. For each species, there is a section for description, measurements, global range, status on PEI, history on PEI, ecology, diet, reproduction, and behaviour. Of special interest is the inclusion and details of species now extirpated from the Island, such as the wolf, black bear, Canada lynx, and caribou, and species introduced to the island, such as the woodchuck (unknown status) and white-tailed deer (no longer present). The book is beautifully illustrated with a full picture of each species, a range map, detailed drawings of tracks (for the land mammals!), and line drawings of each skull. The text is easy to read, with clear font. There is an excellent Glossary, an exhaustive and invaluable Reference listing, and an Index of species (though not identified as such). The authors deserve great praise for producing a handsome and highly useful book, bound to be a classic reference. Sadly, it is perhaps too large and heavy to be a practical field companion. It should be of interest to every biologist who is interested in the fauna of the Maritime Provinces, and indeed Canada as a whole, as well as to biology teachers in schools and universities.