Fauna of the National Parks
of the United States
Since the first volume of Fauna of the National Parks of the United States appeared, much has transpired in the administration of wildlife resources of the national parks. It seems appropriate, therefore, to lay before the people of our country, who watch with analytical interest the administration of their national parks, the circumstances which have brought about certain proposals and measures affecting the wildlife of our national parks and the nature of these proposals and measures. It is the aim of this second volume in the fauna series to present the developments in this field which have come about since publication of A Preliminary Survey of Faunal Relations in National Parks.
It is contemplated that this fauna series not only shall consist of the presentation of new life-history data and the results of pure scientific research conducted within the national parks and monuments, but that it shall serve as a medium for the exposition of a developing wilderness-use technique as it affects the biological aspects of the national parks. Such a technique must be further developed if we are to preserve the wilderness character of our national parks and still utilize them.
National parks technique is developing along a wide front of activities, involving engineering, landscaping, sanitation, architecture, education, recreation, publicity, and all the other activities of the Service. But one of the significant factors in this development is that sooner or later, directly or indirectly, every one of these activities affects the wildlife of the parks (see p. 109). In other words, these activities are all interactive.
As a logical sequence, therefore, part I of this volume is devoted to some of the phases and possibilities of national parks wilderness use as they affect wildlife. Each of the five papers comprising part 1 of the volume has been written separately, each being a more or less complete article in itself. But, even at the risk of some repetition, it seems desirable to bring together in one body these various papers relating to the wildlife management phase of wilderness use.
Three of these papers1 have been published previously in The Condor, a magazine of western ornithology. For permission to use them here, we are sincerely grateful to its editors.
Part II of the volume presents a brief summary of the present status of national parks mammals and a restoration program, with supporting and accompanying data. Part II is the treatment of specific problems according to the principles laid down in part I. To be sure, the present results are not always ideal, but neither is the physical set-up of the parks.
No attempt is made in part II to give a complete account of all wildlife problems and the known or proposed remedies for all of the national parks, even if that were possible. The material selected for presentation has been chosen because it is representative of the type of wildlife management being developed in the national parks and not because of any preference for any particular parks or monuments.
Viewing the volume as a whole, it is evident that it deals with wildlife management and makes no pretense of presenting new facts in the form of pure zoology. When the United States Government created national parks and a National Park Service, it definitely embarked upon a venture involving the so-called intangible phases of wilderness utilization. To attempt wildlife management of the national parks on the basis of pure zoological research, apart from any consideration of the values involved and the ends sought, would be next to useless. Therefore we submit that a treatise with the nature of this volume has a legitimate and necessary place in the national parks fauna series.
It is contemplated that subsequent to this volume the next three volumes of the series shall be devoted to more purely zoological accountsstressing life historyof the faunal resources of Mount McKinley, Sequoia, and Yellowstone National Parks. Studies and manuscripts pertaining to Mount McKinley and Sequoia, under the attention of Joseph S. Dixon of the Wildlife Division, are now nearing completion.
We take pleasure in acknowledging the assistance and guidance in many matters generously given by Dr. Joseph Grinnell, Director Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California. For the assistance and friendly cooperation extended by fellow members of the National Park Service we are sincerely grateful. In particular we should like to acknowledge the thoughtful guidance of Dr. Harold C. Bryant, Assistant Director, National Park Service, and the debt we owe to Mr. Roger W. Toll, Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, who through administrative aid and by sympathetic analysis has given lasting impetus to this work.
GEORGE M. WRIGHT.
JUNE 26, 1934.
1 Men and Birds in Joint Occupation of National Parks, by George M. Wright, The Condor, vol. XXXV, November 1933, pp. 213-218. The Primitive Persists in Bird Life of Yellowstone Park, by George M. Wright. The Condor, vol. XXXVI, July 1934, pp. 145-153. A Wilderness-Use Technique, by Ben H. Thompson. The Condor, vol. XXXVI, July 1934, pp. 153-157.