A New Project With “The Nat”

Big-Eared Woodrat - Neotoma macrotis

The San Diego Natural History Museum’s Science Team has long been working a project called the “Mammal Atlas“. I’ve been working with this team on other projects and it’s always been a rewarding experience for me. I learn a lot! Last week I began to help with this undertaking by contributing my own photos as well as organizing the entire image collection for the project.

This project has been brewing for years, but is finally nearing the point of submitting to the publisher. There are images in the collection that are quite nice and some, like trail-cam images, that are not suitable for print. I have an eye for what I think are good subjects artistically, but the science team is looking to display certain traits and characteristics that identify the subject. In the image above of the “Big-Eared Woodrat”, it was important to see the dark patches on the upperparts of the fore and hind feet. The bicolored tail (dark above, light below) was also important.

It very rare to see a Mammal Atlas project undertaking. Pennsylvania and Kansas have ongoing projects for those states. Pennsylvania’s project is set to conclude in 2025. Kansas’s project seems to be an online affair (no printed media is mentioned in the research I could find). Ireland has a working Mammal Atlas project as does Scotland and Hertfordshire in the UK. Nothing like the San Diego County Mammal Atlas has been completed anywhere else. Anyone who has seen the San Diego County Bird Atlas knows what a great resource it is. The Mammal Atlas promises to be on par with the Bird Atlas.

For information from the SDNHM website, click <Here>.