Great Basin Naturalist


A survey of terrestrial vertebrates was conducted at the Scotts Bluff National Monument (SBNM), Nebraska, to determine species composition, relative abundance, and distribution by habitat of the existing amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Various sampling methods were used to detect animal species richness and to estimate population densities. The seven major habitat types at SBNM contained 4 species of amphibians, 8 reptiles, 96 birds, and 28 mammals. The only endangered or threatened species observed was a dead Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). The racer (Coluber constrictor) and prairie rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) were the two most abundant snakes. The Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) was a common raptor that nested in Scotts Bluff. Sympatric populations of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) appeared to be hybridizing. The riverine woodland contained the greatest number of fauna species with only 4% surface area of SBNM. Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) and pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana), absent from the Monument, are two potential native species for reintroduction.