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which he started* and animals which he introduced roamed at will, while trespassers cut trees without warrant. But its future is more assured than it was twelve years ago, because fire, grazing, and trespass are now controlled. The present scarcity of seedlings is not necessarily discouraging. In situations so exposed, it may happen that young trees will start in considerable numbers only at infrequent intervals, when there happens to come a good seed-year followed by weather conditions favorable to the germination of the seed and the first few years' development of the delicate seedlings. This combination of circumstances may not have occurred since the organization of the National Forest in 1905. Even granting that planting is impracticable in that locality, there is still hope for Chagoopa Town.

The hope centers in the continuance of the forester's care of the region. There are powerful selfish interests still at work quietly trying to undermine and finally break down the whole structure of governmental forest administration, which has been so painfully built up. The forest has all it can do along its frontier to hold back its unavoidable foes. If to its natural enemies we add man-made ones, the war-zone forest cannot stand against the onslaught. Within certain limits, man as well as Nature has a hand in determining where timber-line shall be. At least, we can see to it that there is no unholy anti-forest alliance between destructive man and the other (less ruinous?) forces of Nature. We wish you well, Chagoopa Forest!

* Lightning starts many fires; man starts more.

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TIMBER-LINE AND ADJACENT FOREST (FOXTAIL PINE) BETWEEN EAST

FORK OF KERN RIVER AND TYNDALL CREEK
Altitude, upper photograph, 11,200 feet; lower photograph, 11,100 feet

Photos by Walter Mulford

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WHITE-BARK PINE, NEAR JOHN MUIR TRAIL, SHEPARD CREEK CAÑON

(Altitude, 10,800 feet) Photo by Walter Mulford

THE YOSEMITE CONY-A CHAPTER IN THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE YOSEMITE

NATIONAL PARK

BY JOSEPH GRINNELL AND TRACY I. STORER

THE

(Contribution from the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology of the University of

California) "HE cold granite peaks and rock-walled glacial valleys of

the higher Sierra Nevada of California are inhabited by comparatively few mammals and birds. The species which do live there throughout the year are, by structure and habits, well adapted to withstand the vicissitudes of life in a boreal region.

a On the whole, it seems as if these high mountain residents have come to fill the least desirable niches in the economy of nature, those niches for which there is but little contest. Among the mammals belonging to this category in the Yosemite National Park there is none more deserving of particular attention than

the cony.

The cony is remotely related to the rabbits, but in both structure and habits it differs widely from those better-known animals. The cony is small, rarely exceeding seven inches in length of body, and it is of comparatively chubby build (figs. I and 2). The head is short and bluntly tapered, while the neck is scarcely distinguishable. The eyes are small, but the ears are large and rounded, and this combination gives the animal a peculiarly knowing expression. The fore and hind legs are short and of about equal length, while the tail is so reduced as not to be seen except by examination of a specimen in hand. The clothing of hair is thick and fluffy. The general coloration is grayish white, but to this in late summer and fall there is added, as a result of molt, a pale brown tint. At any season this coloration is doubtless exceedingly valuable to the animal in rendering it inconspicuous; even under the best of light conditions the observer finds difficulty in catching sight of a cony except when it moves.

Conies, otherwise known as pikas, rock-rabbits, or little chief hares, are found in the mountainous districts of Russia, Asia, and northern North America. Each mountain system seems to have one or more kinds of these animals, and this is notably true of the mountains of California. In the Warner Mountains of Modoc County there is a distinct species, the Warner Mountain cony (Ochotona taylori), and on the Sierra-Cascade range from Mount Shasta to Mount Whitney there are no less than three slightly different forms. The northernmost of these, the gray-headed cony (Ochotona schisticeps schisticeps), is found

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Figs. 1-3. TYPICAL ATTITUDES OF THE CONY
1 and 2. On observation-post. 3. “Bleating.” (About one-fourth life-size

Redrawn from field sketches made by Charles Lewis Camp)

from Mount Shasta south to the vicinity of Lake Tahoe; the southernmost one, the Mount Whitney cony (Ochotona schisticeps albatus), occurs in the vicinity of the peak for which it is named; while the third, the Yosemite cony, occupies the higher portions of the Yosemite National Park and adjacent territory. This last form was discovered by the field parties of the California Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in 1915, when engaged in making a zoological survey of the Park. It has been named Ochotona schisticeps muiri, in remembrance of that most gifted of Sierran naturalists, John Muir.

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