Early Faunal Surveys by the MVZ

Life Zone Map

Since
the Museum’s founding in 1908, it has a rich history of field
surveys that documented the distribution and diversity of terrestrial
vertebrates in western North America. These early expeditions included
transects across the major ecological life zones of California and led
to significant publications such as Animal
Life in the Yosemite
and Vertebrate Natural History of
a Section of Northern California through the Lassen Peak Region
.

The collections of specimens,
field notes, photographs, maps, paintings, and publications
that resulted from the early MVZ surveys form the foundation for modern
studies focused on recording changes in habitats and associated vertebrate
fauna over space and time. For example, the Grinnell
Resurvey Project
, which aims to revisit over 200 of the 700 sites
visited by early MVZ field workers, could not be done without the extensive
material left as a legacy for future study.