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MAMMALS OF YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

By Harry C. Parker, Associate Park Naturalist*

Foreword

Yosemite National Park, aside from its scenic grandeur, offers a large, varied and interesting complement of plant and animal life. This is partially explained by the variety of living conditions here as, for example, the great range in elevation (2,000 - 13,000 feet). Another reason is the policy of protection for all native living things in national parks. This serves to assure present-day visitors the privilege of enjoying them and it predicates that future generations may also be able to enjoy a remnant of the Sierran wilderness with its coincident wildlife.

This pamphlet is for the park visitor who wants to know something about the “wild animals.” Professional scientists who specialize in the study of mammals (mammalogists) are likely to find little new to them here, and the matter may well be dismissed with an invitation to inspect the technical list of species and subspecies on page 104.

With 78 kinds of mammals to treat in these few pages, it is impossible to attempt anything like full coverage. I have taken the same approach that a ranger naturalist might use if he were giving an illustrated talk to the public here in the park. Because of the great popular interest, deer and bear have been dealt with at some length, but the general idea is merely to introduce the reader to the various mammals by giving a few high points of interest.

Like the ranger naturalists who give the talks, I am deeply indebted to all who have gone before, both in Yosemite and elsewhere. Especially am I obligated to the authors of the monumental works Animal Life in the Yosemite and Fur-bearing Mammals of California; the countless observers who have published articles in Yosemite Nature Notes; and those whose vision led to the establishment of the Yosemite Museum, including the fine library and study specimens there.

With the systematic list of technical names, I have received invaluable aid from Dr. Seth B. Benson of the University of California, Berkeley, and Dr. William H. Burt, of the University of Michigan. I am also deeply grateful to my colleagues of the National Park Service in Yosemite, especially the rangers and naturalists, who have been unstinting in their aid, whenever called upon. Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Hood made a major photographic contribution, as did Ralph H. Anderson.

I wish particularly to thank the University of California Press and the California Academy of Sciences for their generosity in lending certain plates which contribute so much to this booklet.

*Mr. Parker is now (June 8, 1952) Park Naturalist at Crater Lake National Park.


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