OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

New book looks at Northwest mammals

12/15/1998

CORVALLIS - A new book about Pacific Northwest mammals, written by Corvallis author Chris Maser after 25 years of field study, provides a look at mammals large and small that live in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and northern California.

Called "Mammals of the Pacific Northwest: From the Coast to the Cascades," it was just published by the Oregon State University Press.

Each species receives fair billing. In fact, there are nearly four times as many pages devoted to winged mammals - bats - as there are to"even-toed, hoofed mammals," or deer and elk. That's because the Northwest has many more species of bats, from the little brown bat which weighs about a quarter of an ounce, to the silver-haired bat, one of only two species found in western Oregon with a furred tail.

That level of detail makes "Mammals" a valuable resource for outdoor lovers of all kinds, said Tom Booth, marketing manager for the OSU Press.

"The book delves into the lives of 89 species, from the North American black bear to the wandering shrew, showing how each lives as an individual and how it relates to other individuals of its own kind, to other kinds of animals, and to its environment as a whole," Booth said.

"Mammals" is divided into sections that provide information on pouched mammals (opossums), insect-eating mammals (shrews and moles), winged mammals (bats), hopping mammals (rabbits and hares), gnawing mammals (beavers, squirrels, gophers, etc.), fleshing-eating mammals (coyotes, foxes, bears, otters, weasels, skunks, cats, etc.), and even-toed hoofed mammals (deer and elk).

It includes a map of five zones, a glossary, a distribution list of the mammals' locations, and a compilation of the common and scientific names.

In addition to pictures of many animals, the book includes photographs of such things as antler scrapes on trees, bobcat and cougar tracks, and the droppings of numerous mammals, from coyotes to weasels, that help identification.

Author Maser says in his introduction that this is not a scientific treatise, rather it is an attempt to "acquaint you with the mammals through the love, respect and fascination with which I have over many years learned to know them."

The book is available at book stores and libraries, or can be ordered by calling 1-800-426-3797.