Book Review: CIC Caprinae Atlas of the World by Gerhard Damm and Nicolás Franco
May 2014, Volume 12-3

After many years of work the CIC Caprinae Atlas of the World is finally finished and will be officially launched at the 61st General Assembly of the CIC on the 25th of April in Milano. Italy. The readers of African Indaba will also find three African animals described in the Atlas: the aoudad (Ammotragus lervia), Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) and the rarest of them all, Walia ibex (Capra walie). Not many “Africans”, one might say, if considering the 96 Caprinae phenotypes described in this two volume magnum opus with over 1,100 pages, more than 1,000 color photographs from the wild and from prestigious museum collections contributed by more than 200 photographers from around the world, 130 detailed colored distribution maps expertly drawn by master cartographer Mike Shand from the University of Glasgow and two magnificent watercolor paintings of a Pamir argali and a Kashmir markhor by Bodo Meier.

Read what the first reviewers of the CIC Caprinae Atlas have to say:

Sandro Lovari, Professor of Animal Behavior, University of Siena, Italy:The authors undertook the difficult task to mediate between scientists’ opinions, and created a handbook useful for a working knowledge of the nomenclature of these impressive mountain monarchs …. the impressive illustrations in the Atlas are matched only by the accuracy of distribution maps … anyone who wants to conserve and/or hunt them, anyone who is in love with the evocative, unique landscapes where they dwell should own this book.

Vol12_3_art16Raul Valdez, Professor Emeritus New Mexico State University, USA: … literally thousands of publications were reviewed and, the [authors] made excellent use of the knowledge of a host of globally recognized Caprinae experts. [They} describe the taxonomy, distribution, anatomy, conservation, population status, management, and sustainable hunting for 96 Caprinae phenotypes. This Atlas is the seminal reference for the general public and specialists such as mammalogists, systematists, museum curators, wildlife conservationists and managers, and for hunters. It is of particular value to those who are involved in montane biodiversity and sustainable, community-based conservation planning in Holarctic montane ecosystems. The CIC Atlas simply is the definitive book on Caprines!

Peter Flack, Author, Conservationist and Hunter, South Africa: …. I have followed Gerhard Damm’s progress in researching and writing this book over the seven years it has taken him to complete this truly ground-breaking work.  I hope he will not mind me saying that he is a perfectionist by nature, an extremely hard worker and, in the many years I have known him, I can attest to the fact that, once he sets his mind to complete a task, he does it with a degree of thoroughness and professionalism it is hard for others to emulate.  This work is an example of his dedication and I anticipate that it will not only be around for many decades to come …

John J Jackson III, Chairman Conservation Force, USA: …. “Finally, the book of sheep, goats and other mountain ungulates that every mountain hunter needs as a reference. The Atlas is the definitive work on Caprinae … The massive two volume set was a decade in the making and probably will never be replaced. This is not the work of just one or two men. It is the collation of the work of dozens of the foremost Caprinae experts: the ultimate reference work for the mountain species of the world …

Marco Festa-Bianchet, PhD, Professor of Ecology, University of Sherbrooke, Canada and Chairman IUCN Caprinae Specialist Group: … the CIC Caprinae Atlas of the World marks a milestone in the conservation activities of the CIC. This very ambitious book will interest hunters, researchers and wildlife managers. It presents a massive amount of information on mountain ungulates, including detailed descriptions of taxonomic varieties … Its maps and photographs will be a cornerstone of much future work on the ecology, taxonomy and conservation of these species. Caprinae conservation hinges on the collaboration of conservation biologists and trophy hunters, because while unregulated harvests can have unwanted evolutionary consequences, the prestige of some Caprinae as trophies can be a powerful force in their conservation. … This monumental work took much effort by some very able and determined people. I applaud their commitment and I am certain that this Atlas will further the conservation of mountain ungulates …

Dr. Rolf D. Baldus, Author, Hunter and Conservationist, Germany: … Wer sich mit den Wildschafen, Wildziegen und Steinböcken dieser Welt beschäftigen will, sei es als Jäger, Wissenschaftler, Naturschutzfachmann oder nur als Naturfreund, der kommt an diesen fast fünf Kilo Papier nicht vorbei. Das englischsprachige Werk ist ein Atlas, denn es hat für alle 96 abgehandelten Wildarten Verbreitungskarten. Aber es ist gleichzeitig ein biologisches Fachbuch, ein Ratgeber für Jagdreisen und ein Trophäen-Handbuch. Zu allen Wildarten gibt es Fotos aus freier Wildbahn. Diese werden ergänzt durch Schädelfotos aus den Sammlungen weltbekannter Museen in Europa und USA. Deshalb wird dieser Atlas mit insgesamt mehr als eintausend Fotos auch zu einem Bildband mit vielen bisher unveröffentlichten Aufnahmen seltener Bergwildarten. …

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