Mojave Network Inventory and Monitoring Program

U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2008-1167
version 1.0

Mammal Inventory of the Mojave Network Parks—Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Manzanar National Historic Site, and Mojave National Preserve

By Charles A. Drost and Jan Hart

2008

photograph of spiny pocket mouse

Abstract

This report describes the results of a mammal inventory study of National Park Service units in the Mojave Desert Network, including Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Manzanar National Historic Site, and Mojave National Preserve. Fieldwork for the inventory focused on small mammals, primarily rodents and bats. Fieldwork for terrestrial small mammals used trapping with Sherman and Tomahawk small- and medium-sized mammal traps, along with visual surveys for diurnal species. The majority of sampling for terrestrial small mammals was carried out in 2002 and 2003. Methods used in field surveys for bats included mist-netting at tanks and other water bodies, along with acoustic surveys using Anabat. Most of the bat survey work was conducted in 2003. Because of extremely dry conditions in the first two survey years (and associated low mammal numbers), we extended field sampling into 2004, following a relatively wet winter. In addition to field sampling, we also reviewed, evaluated, and summarized museum and literature records of mammal species for all of the Park units.

We documented a total of 59 mammal species as present at Death Valley National Park, with an additional five species that we consider of probable occurrence. At Joshua Tree, we also documented 50 species, and an additional four “probable” species. At Lake Mead National Recreation Area, 57 mammal species have been positively documented, with 10 additional probable species. Manzanar National Historic Site had not been previously surveyed. We documented 19 mammal species at Manzanar, with an additional 11 probable species. Mojave National Preserve had not had a comprehensive list previously, either. There are now a total of 50 mammal species documented at Mojave, with three additional probable species.

Of these totals, 23 occurrences are new at individual park units (positively documented for the first time), with most of these being at Manzanar. Noteworthy additions include western mastiff bat at Joshua Tree, house mouse at a number of wildland sites at Lake Mead, and San Diego pocket mouse at Mojave National Preserve. There are also species that have been lost from the Mojave Network parks. We discuss remaining questions, including the possible occurrence of additional species at each park area (most of these are marginal species whose distributional range may or may not edge into the boundaries of the area). Taxonomic changes are also discussed, along with potential erroneous species records.


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