This thesis is a study of vertebrate distribution in relation to certain habitats in cetral Kane County, Utah. Four areas were trapped, two in a sagebrush community and two in a grassland community. Oryzopsis hymenoides (Roem & Shult.) Ricker, Hilaria jamesii (Torr) Benth., Ephedra torreyana S. Watts and Guttierrezia sarothrae (Purah.) Britt and Rusby, were the dominant plants in the grassland community. The dominant plants in the sagebrush community were Artemisia tridentata Nutt., and Hilaria jamesii (Torr.) Benth. Dipodomys ordii cupidineus Goldman was the most common mammal trapped in both communities. Peromyscus maniculatus sonoriensis (LeConte) was trapped most often in the sagebrush community, but rarely taken in the grassland community. Reithrodontomys megalotis megalotis (Baird), was trapped most often in the grassland and only rarely in the sagebrush community. This cricetid seemed restricted to a habitat that offered a large amount of shrub and grass cover. Perognathus parvus trumbullensis Benson, seemed to be restricted to the sagebrush community. This was the only species that was not trapped in the grassland community. Perognathus longimembris arizonensis Goldman, on the other hand seemed to be restricted in central Kane County to the grassland community, because it was the only mammal that was not caught in the sagebrush community. Perognathus formosus domisaxensis Cookrum, appears to be the ecological equivalent on the Cockscomb Ridge of P. parvus in the sagebrush community and P. longimembris in the grasslands. From the data collected, Onychomys leucogaster melanophrys Merriam, appeared to be limited in distribution to the number of available invertebrates near the trapping transect. Most of the mammals that were trapped on the west side of the ridge, in the sagebrush community, appeared to be darker in color than those from the east side of the ridge. Thomomys umbrinus howelli exhibited a greater color contrast between the two communities than any other species. Closer examination of the skulls of these mammals revealed a difference in the width of the basioccipital between those caught on the west side of the ridge and those caught on the east side. The range of Crotalus viridis lutosus Klauber was extended east from the Cockscomb Ridge to the Paria Plateau. The range of Eutamias dorsalis utahensis Merriam was extended south past Catstairs Canyon.



College and Department

Plant and Wildlife Sciences



Date Submitted


Document Type





Biogeography; Vertebrates, Utah, Kane County