2016-09-17 Mammal Atlas Update

Mustela frenata

Over the last several weeks I have been gathering, grooming and sorting images for the upcoming San Diego County Mammal Atlas, and unfortunately have neglected to update my website with fresh images and content. For the atlas my good friend Charlie Van Tassel submitted some very nice images, however he had projects relating to his business that required his full attention so he offered me his original RAW files of the long-tailed weasel. I found about 750 images in his collection suitable for this project and selected about 50 that showed the characteristics required by the authors (clear view of the facial mask and the black tail tip). A final pass through these 50 and I chose 11 images I felt met the criteria, and one that (more typically) left the tail tip in the burrow. Scott Tremor, who is the lead editor for the atlas, will have to choose ONE of these. I don’t think it will be an easy choice as all are wonderful photos.

The Atlas is nearing completion. I hate to admit it, but the area of my involvement (images) is one of the few portions of the publication that is not complete… but we’re making progress and optimistic that this phase will finalized in the next couple of weeks.

The team is comprised of more than 30 authors who are the leading experts in their fields and have compiled accounts to over 121 locally occurring species.  These species accounts will address information such as description, distribution, reproduction, conservation and history specific to San Diego County. Photographs are a key element to each account, providing the reader the ability to identify species through photo alone.  For many species, good photos do not exist, so you will be seeing photos such as the weasel that Charlie photographed (below) for the first time.

In a region of extreme biodiversity where many mammals face the threats associated with urban sprawl and climate change, this atlas promises to comprehensively state of our current knowledge from which we can continue to build. Anyone who has seen the San Diego County Bird Atlas knows of its value. Riding its coat tails, the San Diego County Mammal Atlas will provide the general public, students, and wildlife managers the information needed to ensure the longevity of many of the county’s mammals.

See Charlie’s images below (used with permission from the photographer):

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