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Distribution and Status of Uncommon Mammals in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

Knowledge of species distribution is fundamental to conservation and management efforts. Unfortunately, distribution of many mammal species in the southeastern United States, including some considered endangered, threatened, or of special concern, has been and remains poorly documented. We queried museums, reviewed the published literature, and searched state Natural Heritage Inventory databases to obtain distributional information for 13 mammal species considered rare (Global Rank G1-G3 or State Rank S1-S3) or of other conservation concern in the Southern Appalachian region. We constructed distribution maps for selected mammal species within the region based on 7 state Natural Heritage Inventory databases and 1539 county records from 26 museums and 57 published sources. Napaeozapus insignis (Woodland Jumping Mouse), Mustela nivalis (Least Weasel), and Tamiasciurus hudsonicus (Red Squirrel) exhibited large (>150 km) geographic differences from currently accepted range maps. Sorex dispar (Rock Shrew), Synaptomys cooperi (Southern Bog Lemming), Neotoma magister (Allegheny Woodrat), and Zapus hudsonius (Meadow Jumping Mouse), exhibited small (<75 km) geographic differences. The remaining 6 species showed little to no range differences from commonly accepted range maps. Because seven of 13 mammals showed substantial differences from known range maps, our updated maps may aide managers and others in focusing surveying and conservation efforts.

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