The diversity of wildlife in Grand Teton National Park and its environs draws millions to the valley of Jackson Hole every year, but few are the visitors who are able to observe individual species over the course of several seasons. Paul Johnsgard, a noted naturalist who has written many books on the waterfowl of the world, here integrates his own observations with those who have studied Teton wildlife in the past. The result is a compassionate, simple reconstruction of the lives of a few individuals from spring through early autumn.
Teton Wildlife describes the migration of a herd of antelope to the lower flatlands of the Gros Ventre Range in early spring; the lives of a family of coyote on the sagebrush flats of Jackson Hole; the mating ceremony of a pair of Sandhill Cranes on the willow flats near Jackson Lake dam; and the activity of several other species in a wide range of habitats from barren glacial cirques to lush aspen groves.
In the course of describing common species, Johnsgard emphasizes the remarkable animal diversity of the Teton area, as well as the complexity of interrelationships existing among organisms there. And in an advocacy borne out of his sympathetic portrayal of the biotic community, Johnsgard makes a case for the biological value of national parks such as Grand Teton. “In a sense,” writes Johnsgard, “the greatest obligation that one who is able to do research in a national park or national wildlife refuge must recognize is the debt of admiration for the foresighted people who had the courage and strength to set aside these areas in perpetuity for their enjoyment by everyone.”
Paul A. Johnsgard is Foundation Professor of Life Sciences at the University of Nebraska. He is the author of over a dozen books on waterfowl, the most recent of which is Those of the Gray Wind: The Sandhill Cranes. A book on the hummingbirds of the world and their biology is in preparation.
Johnsgard’s fieldwork for Teton Wildlife was carried out over two summers at Jackson Hole Biological Station, an institute sponsored by the University of Wyoming and the New York Zoological Society.
This book is xii + 128 pages, and includes 32 photographs, 16 drawings, and 1 map.
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Available at: http://works.bepress.com/paul_johnsgard/338/