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Presettlement Wildlife and Habitat of Montana:
An Overview

Routes taken by Lewis and Clark

Craig J. and Pamela R. Knowles
FaunaWest Wildlife Consultants
P.O. Box 113
Boulder, MT 59632

Under contract with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, we developed a bibliography of books, papers, and documents with at least some natural history information pertaining to Montana and adjacent lands during the 19th century. Included with this bibliography is an annotation of major expeditions and explorers, tables cross referencing expeditions with drainages traversed, and a roster of early Montana naturalists.

Expeditions into Montana began in 1802 and continued throughout the century. Early natural history notes generally were recorded by people with no biological training and tended to be highly qualitative. Later natural history notes generally were recorded by people with biological training and became increasingly more detailed and scientific in nature. Natural history information is available for nearly all regions of Montana, although, certain areas received greater attention than others. Despite the lack of quantitative data, it would be possible to establish regional lists of common mammals and birds, and their relative abundance from sources listed here. We also found relative abundance of timber and grass were consistently recorded even by journalists with no biological training.

After reviewing numerous journals and narratives, our impression is that Montana has undergone ecosystem wide reductions in native wildlife. We present journal summaries in support of this statement.

This resource should be cited as:
Knowles, Craig J. and Pamela R. Knowles.  1995.  Presettlement 
     wildlife and habitat of Montana:  An overview.  Jamestown, 
     ND: Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Online.  
     (Version 16JUL97).


"Bibliography is a necessary nuisance and a horrible drudgery that no mere drudge could perform. It takes a sort of inspired idiot to be a good bibliographer and his inspiration is as dangerous a gift as the appetite of the gambler or dipsomaniac - it grows with what it feeds upon and finally possesses its victim like any other invincible vice." -- Elliott Coues 1892.



Section 1
An Annotation Of Expeditions And Individuals Recording Natural History Notes In And Near Montana During The Nineteenth Century.

Section 2
Tabular Summary of Explorers and Expeditions in and Near Montana During the 19th Century.

Section 3
List of Early Montana Naturalists.

Section 4
A Listing of Books, Papers, and Documents Pertaining to Presettlement Habitat and Wildlife of Montana and Adjacent Lands.

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