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Mammals of the KU Field Station

Checklist: Mammals of the KU Field Station

Thirty-nine species of mammals have been confirmed from the KU Field Station since 1948. A hypothetical list of species that may have occurred, or may still occur, on Field Station areas has 14 additional species including five that were extirpated in Kansas in the late 19th century (black bear, gray wolf, mountain lion, bison and wapiti), six wide-ranging bats (big brown bat, evening bat, hoary bat, silver-haired bat, Brazilian free-tailed bat and eastern pipistrelle), two semi-aquatic species known to live in the general area (mink and otter) and one species typical of shortgrass plains that also has been found nearby (black-tailed jackrabbit). Humans, as well as their domesticated (and feral) livestock and pets (especially dogs and cats), have not been included in this list even though their activity can have significant impacts.

Several types of small live traps have been used for mammal sampling at the Field Station, with hundreds of thousands of "trap nights" accumulated since 1948 (one trap set for one night = one trap night). Relatively little sampling has been done with bat nets.  Information on mammal species larger than rabbit size is based mainly on sight records, tracks and other signs.

The checklist linked above is intended to provide the reader with an overview of the mammal community of the Field Station. General information on ecology and abundance of species occurring on the Field Station and the region can be found at Mammals of Kansas.  Likewise, broader information on mammal abundance and natural communities in the region can be obtained by contacting the Kansas Biological Survey. Detailed information on the local ecology of many of these species can be found in scores of scientific publications reporting research at the Field Station. Specific questions as to abundance and ecology of mammals at the Field Station and current emphasis of ecological research can be obtained by contacting the Field Station administrative office. A small synoptic collection of small mammals is maintained at the Field Station field laboratory, and extensive research collections of mammals are housed at the Natural History Museum on the main campus of the University of Kansas.

The list above is presented in phylogenetic sequence, and scientific and common names follow Jones et al. (1986), Revised Checklist of North American Mammals North of Mexico. A generalized key to abundance of each species on the KU Field Station provides coarse information on occurrence. 

Codes for abundance are as follows:
a = abundant
m = moderately abundant
r = rare
x = extremely rare, only a few records
h = historical records but now extremely rare
t = transitory
i = introduced species with no extant population. 

Acknowledgements to Henry S. Fitch and Norman A. Slade for revising and updating this information.


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