The Evolution of the Mammals of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia

The Evolution of the Mammals of the Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia

Microform - 1965
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Islands, with their simplified ecosystems and isolation from other populations in both space & time, provide natural settings for the study of numerous disciplines in relation to evolution. The Queen Charlotte Islands are some of the more isolated islands on the north-west coast of North America and are therefore of special interest in the study of the biotic evolution of this region. The purpose of this paper is to report on an analysis of the evolution of the native land mammals of these islands. An important aspect is to determine how much of the endemism present on the islands is accounted for by reason of its being a relict population or how much is a contribution of the insularity of the environment. The paper begins with a review of the Islands' setting and an assessment of the possibility of glacial refugia being present on the island. The Islands' physiography, vegetation, endemic species, the impoverished nature of the fauna encountered, and the probability of species survival in a refugium during the last glaciation are reviewed. The second section examines eight species of native mammals in an attempt to reconstruct their past history in a Queen Charlotte setting. The research is based on field studies conducted in 1960 & 1961 and examination of specimens collected & specimens in museums. Sources of variation, rates of evolution, and factors responsible for species appearance or disappearance are discussed. The final chapter reviews the evolution of mammals on other islands to show any trends which may be present in insular mammals.
Publisher: Victoria : British Columbia Provincial Museum, 1965
Description: 130 p. : maps, ill
Branch Call Number: MF BC-DOC 104-04769


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