"Chetro Ketl great kiva" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain

Chaco Culture


brochure Chaco Culture - Mammals
Chaco Culture National Historical Park National Park Service U. S. Department of the Interior Mammal List ELK (CERVUS ELAPHUS) The elk herd moved back into Chaco in the 1999. Many opportunities arise to see the estimated 60 resident elk throughout the year. The best time to catch a glimpse of the second largest cervid in North America, howerver is in the fall. Thanks to efforts made by the state of New Mexico and private individuals who strove to restore the nearly extinct animal from 1910 to 1966, elk population estimates within the state soar upwards of 72,000. DESERT COTTONTAIL (SYVILAGUS AUDUBONLI) The cottontail is one of the most abundant mammals in the park. You might get a laugh seeing them sprawled out in the summertime around the parking lots and prehistoric sites. Cottontails conserve their energy and moisture by avoiding activity in the daylight hours. To provide excellent warmth during the winter months, the Chacoans wove cloaks and blankets out of rabbit fur. MULE DEER(OBDOCOLLEUS HEMIONUS) Mule PORCUPINE (ERITHIZON DORSATUM) This large rodent makes periodical appearances within the canyon. Porcupines are herbivores and love to eat tree bark (having the potential to strip trees completely bare). As with all animals in the park, keep your distance when viewing porcupines. They don’t actually throw their quills, but contact with the sharp objects can be rather painful. deer can be a little on the shy side, but keep an eye out for them around the loop road and the washes. Typically seen in the fall, deer are most visible in the early morning and late afternoon. Population estimates hover around 50, but its exact size remains unknown. The Chacoans utilized deer bone for tools and ceremonial objects, the meat for food, and hides for warmth. COYOTE (CANIS LATRANS) These members of the dog family are quite prevalent in Chaco. You can see them running down the road or prowling on top of the mesas. If you’re lucky, you might catch the unusual pairing of the coyote and badger who often hunt together. It might sound strange, but this phenomenon has been reported many times in the park especially around the South Mesa. Many rock art panels feature coyote images. AMERICAN BADGER (TAXIDEA TAXUS) The badger is an excellent hunter and masters the skill by digging lots of burrows and capturing its prey with its strong, sharp claws. Sometimes they will invade another animal’s burrow, wait for it’s return, and attack the prey. You can see many burrows along the South Mesa Trail where you might see the earlier described interaction with coyote. Identify these mammals. Have you seen any of these creatures in the park? A. (See reverse side for answers) B. C. r/ d e on O r mm Co m Na e La ORDER: ARTIODACTYLA Elk Mule Deer ORDER:CARVIVORA Coyote Bobcat Striped Skunk Puma American badger Common grey fox Black bear Kit fox tin N e am Ab u Cervus elaphus Ocdoileus hermonius nd an C C Canis latrans Lynx rufus Mephitis mephitis Puma concolor Taxidea taxus C U U U U Urocyon cinereoargenateus U Ursus americanus R Vulpes macrotis U ORDER: CHIROPTERA Pallid bat Western lump-nosed bat Big brown bat Spotted bat Silver-haired bat Hoary bat California myotis Western small-footed bat Long-eared myotis Fringed myotis Long-legged myotis Yuma myotis Big free-tailed bat Western pipistrelle Brazilian free-tailed bat Antrozous pallidus Corynorhinus townsendii Epstisicus fuscus Euderma maculatum Lasionycteris noctivagans Lasiurus cinereus Myotis californicus Myotis ciliolabrum Myotis evotis Myotis thysanodes Myotis volans Myotis yumanensis Nyctinomops macrotis Pipistrellus hesperus Tadarida brasiliensis / er ce d on O r mm Co Na me tin e Ab u a nd ORDER: INSECTIVORA Desert shrew Notiosorex crawfordi R ORDER: LAGOMORPHA Black-tailed jack rabbit Desert cottontail Lepus californicus Syvilagus audubonli C C Order: Rondentia Antelope ground squirrel Gunnison’s prairie dog Ord’s kangaroo rat Banner-tailed kangaroo rat Porcupine Colorado chipmunk White-throated wood rat Bushy-tailed wood rat Stephen’s wood rat N. grasshopper mouse Plains pocket mouse Silky pocket mouse Brush mouse Canyon mouse Deer mouse Pinyon mouse Western harvest mouse Spotted ground squirrel Rock squirrel Botta’s pocket gopher C U R R U R C C U C U U R C U La m Na Ammospermophilius leucurus C Cynomys gunnisoni Dypodomys ordi Dipodomys spectabilis Erithizon dorsatum C C C C Neotamias quadrivittatus U Neotoma albigula C Neotoma cinerea U Neotoma stephensi U Onychomys leucogaster C Perognathus flavescens U Perognathus flavus C Peromyscus boylii U Peromyscus crinitus C Peromyscus maniculatus A Peromyscus truei C Reithrodontomys magalotis U Spermophilis spilosoma R Spermophilis variegatus R Thomomys bottae C Legend A = Abundant C = Common R = Rare U = Uncommon Canyon Winged Friends Pallid Bat Fringed Myotis Big Brown Bat Answers: Chaco hosts a myriad of furry flying mammals. The fringed and California myotis, Pallid bat, Big brown bat, and Western Pipistrelle are some of the most commonly seen bats in the canyon. No need to worry or fear the creatures, since their diet consists mainly of insects. The canyon walls serve as home to the host of bats found in Chaco. If you stay overnight, you might see them flying around at dusk or early evening. Ongoing studies continue to identify the flying mammals. Two different means of identification are used including the netting and release of the creatures or the Anabat system which analyses the ultrasonic calls of bats to identify the species. A. Antelope Ground Squirrel B. Kangaroo Rat C. Black-Tailed Jack Rabbit (for reverse side) EXPERIENCE YOUR AMERICA nc e

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