The Best Books On American Wild Canids

The Books I Picked & Why

American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West

By Nate Blakeslee

American Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West

Why this book?

The author Nate Blakeslee comes to this story about the famous Yellowstone wolf O-Six as a journalist and tells this true story with a keen eye for the myriad perspectives on modern wolf conservation. Whether or not you are familiar with the political debate of restoring wolves to the American West or the notions of Old West versus New West, you will find this story intriguing and informative.


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The New Wolves: The Return of the Mexican Wolf to the American Southwest

By Rick Bass

The New Wolves: The Return of the Mexican Wolf to the American Southwest

Why this book?

Rick Bass is an absolute American treasure and it’s difficult to choose between this book about Mexican gray wolf recovery or his equally enthralling book The Ninemile Wolves. The New Wolves covers a sometimes overlooked part of the story of wolf recovery in the US. More often than not, people think about Yellowstone and the return of gray wolves to Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho when they think about reintroduction efforts. The saga of Lobos in the Southwest is a poignant and important one to remember and Rick Bass’ skilled prose will stay with you too.


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Giving Birth to Thunder, Sleeping with His Daughter

By Barry Lopez

Giving Birth to Thunder, Sleeping with His Daughter

Why this book?

Barry Lopez is also an author that defies choosing among his many great books about nature, including the renown Of Wolves and Men. Less known is his collection of sixty-eight tales of Old Man Coyote, the Trickster, carefully gathered from forty-two Native American tribes. One might understandably take issue with reading a white man’s version of Native American stories, but give Barry a chance to explain himself in the introduction to the book. Of course, nothing can replace the great oral tradition of Native American storytelling, but short of the real thing, this collection will help you understand the wit and wisdom of the Trickster character.


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The Wolf's Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades, and Biodiversity

By Cristina Eisenberg

The Wolf's Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades, and Biodiversity

Why this book?

If it’s not already abundantly clear, humans can’t help but argue about wild canids and other carnivores. The concept of trophic cascades, whereby the impacts of apex predators cascade throughout wood febs and whole ecosystems, is no exception. Many people celebrate wolves’ contributions to a wilder Yellowstone ecosystem. Others argue that trophic cascades are limited to certain landscapes. Cristina Eisenberg is a conservation biologist with a writer’s bent and will help you understand the science behind this important topic.


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Wolves and the Wolf Myth in American Literature

By S.K. Robisch

Wolves and the Wolf Myth in American Literature

Why this book?

Wolves may be more prevalent in literature and film than they are in reality. For an ecocritical perspective on canid cameos in American narrative, Robisch examines 200 texts to understand the real and imagined wolves and their places across cultures and what that tells us about humans and nature more broadly.


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