Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 67.djvu/170

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isolate Rocky Mountain naturalists and their work from that of others, I wish exactly the reverse. The time will come, I think, when no single man will think of producing a monographic work on a group of organisms. He will compile the work, adding to his own contributions those of others from every region inhabited by his chosen beasts. In that day the local naturalist will contribute his part; but the point is, he will make his own observations, and will not merely send material for the all-wise one to ponder over.

The history of Rocky Mountain mammalogy is quite interesting. During the nineteenth century 68 new mammals were described from our area. Of these, six are not now considered distinct, but 62 remain. In the first decade, two were described by Ord. In the twenties, Say made known five, in the thirties Bachman described two, in the forties nothing was added, in the fifties we have six by Baird and one by Audubon and Bachman, in the sixties two by Kennicott and one by Hayden, in the seventies one by Coues, in the eighties one by Shufeldt and one by Merriam. Thus, to the end of the eighties, 22 had been described. Now in the nineties, counting 1900, no less than forty were added, mostly by Merriam and Allen! In 1901 three more were added, and in 1902 five. I first came to Colorado in 1887, and remember very well having the distinct impression that the species and subspecies of Eocky Mountain mammals were very well known. This, indeed, was the accepted view; but how wonderful was the result of assiduous collecting and study during the next ten or twelve years! It is admitted that not all of the newly named animals are very distinct, but some are, and all appear to have their characters.

Of all these descriptions, one was the joint work of two resident naturalists, but the rest were prepared by students living in the east. Perhaps one should make a second exception of the mouse described by Dr. Shufeldt, who resided for a considerable period in New Mexico. The number of new forms described from Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming is about the same, Colorado being a little in the lead; but only seven, less than half the number of the other states, come from Montana. The northern state, however, can pride itself upon containing the type locality of the grizzly bear; this and the common wood rat (Neotoma cinerea), also from Montana, being the two first-described animals from our region.

It is not necessary to similarly outline the history of other groups, but it may be said that the flowering plants are in the midst of a revival period quite equaling that of the mammals, while the description of new insects goes on at a very rapid rate. Of over 500 wild bees collected in the last ten years or so in New Mexico, more than 300 have been described as new.

In order that it may be understood that something is really doing in the Eocky Mountains, I propose to briefly describe the existing