Visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park are likely to see a variety of wildlife, from the small and difficult to observe to the large and spectacular. A wide assortment of animals- salamanders, turtles, lizards, snakes, birds, deer, and bears-inhabit the park. Mammals of Great Smoky Mountains National Park focuses on the park's fur-bearing animals that nurse their young.
The first edition of Mammals of Great Smoky Mountains National Park was published in 1971, and significant changes have transpired in the past forty-five years: new species have been discovered in the park, reintroductions-some successful and one unsuccessful-have occurred, and a number of taxonomic revisions have taken place. This updated edition contains accounts of seventy-two of the park's mammals, including opossums, shrews, moles, bats, rabbits, rodents, wolves, raccoons, pumas, and other carnivores and deer and elk.
Donald W. Linzey, who began working in the park in 1963, draws on his extensive research background and combines it with the notes of Arthur Stupka, former chief naturalist and park biologist, and many others who have contributed to knowledge of the mammals in the park. Several new features have been added to the third edition, including the origins of genus and species names, photographs of new species, and skull drawings of some species, which illustrate distinct features. To honor the park's Cherokee heritage, the Cherokee names for many mammals are now given along with their English names. Written for laymen and biologists alike, Linzey discusses the distribution, habitat, food habits, predation, and reproductive habits of mammals ranging from the pigmy shrew to the conspicuous black bear.
Donald W. Linzey, a professor of biology at Wytheville Community College in Wytheville, Virginia for twenty-four years, is currently a faculty member in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Among many other books, he is the author of A Natural History Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.