Since its initial publication in 1959, The Wild Mammals of Missouri by Charles W. Schwartz and Dr. Elizabeth R. Schwartz has become the definitive guide to the identification of these animals, and it continues to be a source of abundant information about their lives. Charles Schwartz’s meticulously rendered drawings capture the spirit of his subjects while remaining technically accurate. The drawings range from full portraits to vignettes to illustrations of skulls, tracks, and other identifying characteristics. The enormous popularity of this work as a college textbook and general reference and a desire to contain the most accurate information led to two previous revisions—the first (in 1981) edited by both authors and the second (in 2001) edited by Elizabeth Schwartz. Scientists and enthusiasts lost two great conservationists when Charles died in 1991 and Elizabeth in 2013.
Debby K. Fantz, resource scientist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, and Dr. Victoria L. Jackson, associate professor with the University of Central Oklahoma, have worked to ensure that Wild Mammals will continue to educate, delight, and inspire with this third revised edition. These two mammalogists have over fifty years’ combined experience conducting surveys and research, leading trapping workshops, designing distribution models, identifying mammals, and teaching courses in mammalogy and wildlife conservation and management.
The Wild Mammals of Missouri has grown from sixty-three full species accounts in the first edition to seventy-two in this third revised edition. The editors have maintained the basic structure of the book while adding much new information, including a full account for the elk with artwork by Mark Raithel, new trapping records, revised common and scientific names, enhanced Missouri county-level distribution information, updated range maps, and a discussion of the range expansions of the American black bear and nine-banded armadillo, as well as the increase in confirmed mountain lion sightings.