Great Plains Natural Science Society


The Prairie Naturalist

Date of this Version


Document Type



The Prairie Naturalist- 44(1): June 2012


Published by the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Used by permission.


In my view, the second edition of Mammals of Colorado is among the finest state-level books on mammals available. The book is a major revision of the first edition (Fitzgerald et al. 1994) and is a reference worth having, even if the first edition is already at hand. In this review, T summarize aspects of the new volume and provide comparisons to the first edition in an effort to persuade the reader that this is indeed the case.

The first four chapters of the second edition include background information and updated material about Colorado environments, mammals in general, the history of mammals and mammalogy in Colorado, and the stewardship of wild mammals in the state. The chapter on history is new; history was only a short subsection in the first edition. Chapter I focuses on environments and includes an expanded description of grassland habitats, including their susceptibility to invasive plants and their rapid conversion to urbanized landscapes in parts of Colorado. Table 1-2 lists habitats of Coloradan mammals and now includes 51 species (plus humans) as grassland dwellers (only 46 species were listed in the 1994 edition). Chapter 2 focuses on origins, characteristics, and diversity of Mammalia and contains the same headings and much of the same material that was included in the first edition, but with some interesting updates, such as the discovery of lactation in males of some Old World species of bats, the increase in the number of known species of mammals worldwide, and references to more comprehensive works on mammalian biology.