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Whales and dolphins are icons for the conservation movement. They are the most conspicuous ambassadors for entire marine ecosystems and possibly even for the biosphere as a whole. Concurrent with our realisation of impending threats to their environment is a growing scientific understanding of the social and cognitive complexity of many of these species.
This book brings together experts in the relevant diverse fields of cetacean research, to provide authoritative descriptions of our current knowledge of the complex behaviour and social organization of whales and dolphins. The authors consider this new information in the context of how different human cultures from around the world view cetaceans and their protection, including attitudes to whaling. They show how new information on issues such as cetacean intelligence, culture and the ability to suffer, warrants a significant shift in global perceptions of this group of animals and how these changes might be facilitated to improve conservation and welfare approaches.
About the Author
Philippa Brakes is a marine biologist, specialising in marine mammal welfare and the ethical issues associated with our interactions with cetaceans and their environments. She has served as an expert on cetacean welfare issues and whaling policy with the New Zealand Government delegation to the International Whaling Commission, as well as serving as an informal adviser to other Government and non-Government delegations; as a lecturer in Zoological Conservation Management; as Marine Advisor to the RSCPA; and as the Curator of a British Zoological Gardens. Mark Peter Simmonds is an environmental scientist specialising in the problems facing marine mammals in the 21st century. He is currently the International Director of Science at the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.