Marine Mammals: The Evolving Human Factor

A brand new book, authored by Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, founder and vice-President of Tethys, and Bernd Würsig, has been published. The aim is to explore the effects that humans had, are having and will have (unless we change our ways) on these magnificent mammals of the seas.

This is the seventh volume of the series “Ethology and Behavioral Ecology of Marine Mammals”, and it describes aspects of the often-complex relationship between humans and marine mammals, highlighting the contradictory behavior of humans relative to marine mammals.

From a primeval condition of occasional predators, during the last century humans have become a major factor negatively affecting the status of most marine mammals, leading to the extirpation of many populations and even to the extinction of species. However, in parallel to this destructive drive, since antiquity humanity has been influenced by a strong fascination for marine mammals, which contributes today to an increased human appreciation of the natural world admixed with widespread concern for its degrading condition.

The special status occupied by marine mammals in human imagination and affection stands in stark contrast with the current predicament of many populations still threatened by the doings of Homo sapiens: a condition emblematic of the relationship of humanity with nature, and key to understanding where humanity is heading.

The aim of the whole series is to provide the latest ethological information on the major groupings of marine mammals (toothed whales, baleen whales, eared seals and walrus, true seals, sea otter, marine otter and polar bear, sirens).

Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara, Bernd Würsig, Editors.

Series: Ethology and Behavioral Ecology of Marine Mammals, Springer