Date of this Version
Historically, the Colorado Plateau has been the subject of many geological and biological explorations. J. W. Powell explored and mapped the canyon country of the Colorado River in 1869 (Powell 1961). C. H. Merriam, V. Bailey, M. Cary, and other employees of the Bureau of Biological Survey conducted biological explorations of the area in the late 1800s. In recent times, researchers such as S. D. Durrant (1952), Durrant and Robinson (1962), D. M. Armstrong (1972), J. S. Findley et al. (1975), D. F. Hoffmeister (1986), and J. Fitzgerald et al. (1994) have made considerable contributions to our understanding of the fauna of the Colorado Plateau. Despite earlier efforts, biological details on many regions of the plateau have remained insufficiently explored.
In an effort to gather valuable biological information, the National Park Service (NPS) initiated a nationwide program to inventory vascular plants and vertebrates on NPS lands (Stuart 2000). The U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, Arid Lands Field Station became a cooperator on this effort in 2001, when we began mammalian inventories on five parks within the NPS Southern Colorado Plateau Network (SCPN): Aztec Ruins National Monument (AZRU), El Morro National Monument (ELMO), Petroglyph National Monument (PETR), Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument (SAPU), and Yucca House National Monument (YUHO). Existing baseline data on mammalian occurrences in these parks varied from very sparse to moderate, with little information available for most parks. In most cases, information was insufficient to assess the status of species of local concern. A final report on inventory eff orts on these five parks was submitted in February 2004 (Bogan et al. 2004).
In 2003, biologists from the Arid Lands Field Station began work on three additional parks in the SCPN: Bandelier National Monument (BAND), Chaco Culture National Historical Park (CHCU), and El Malpaís National Monument (ELMA). The primary emphasis at these three parks was on non-volant mammals, as personnel from the Field Station had worked earlier on bats at all three parks (Bogan et al. 1998, Valdez et al. 2002a, 2002b). A final report on inventories at these three parks was submitted in April 2005.
This publication details fieldwork conducted in all eight parks from 2001–2004. The information that appears here was originally contained in two separate reports that have been combined in order to make it easier for readers to find information on SCPN mammal inventories. To remain faithful to the original reports, and because of slightly differing objectives, personnel, and emphases at the two sets of parks, we have generally presented the methods, results, and recommendations separately for the 5-park and 3-park inventories.