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Over the past century, land use, invasive species, and climate change have greatly altered biotic communities in the Great Basin of the western USA. Using historical and modern comparative data from photographs and faunal surveys, we assessed changes in both vegetation structure and small mammal assemblages over resurvey intervals of 80 years at localities in the central Great Basin. Click the image to enlarge.
This is the study region and highlighted specific locations of mammal research areas surveyed by the Natural History Museum of Utah’s (NHMU) mammalogists and their research collaborators.
Are you interested in reading further? Click on this link to read some of the papers that our museum mammalogists have written over the years.
Some of NHMU's mammalogy research included analyzing and comparing 80-year-old photographs of study sites to recent photographs of the same sites. These photographs were used to identify changes in vegetation type over time. Take a look at the slideshow below. Analyze each photograph to look for visible changes in the vegetation. These changes were examined by our researchers to coorespond to the changes they were finding in small mammal communities. Click on this link to watch a video of our mammalogist explaining the comparison. You can also review a graphic that explains this change in further detail. *Hover your mouse over the photos to stop the slideshow.*
The Museum's researchers use NHMU collections for ongoing research, and specimens from active research projects are added to our collections. Read more about the vertebrate zoology collections at the Museum here.