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FW 255: Field Sampling

Task 1: Finding A Species Account

Find and read the species account for your animal. Acquaint yourself with the species' ecology and natural history, including your animal's habitat requirements and seasonal patterns. If your project involves watching multiple species, choose at least one you know you will observe, although, you will likely profit from looking up species accounts for more than one species. 

TIP: You might need to search with both the common or English-language name and the Latin or scientific name.

Visit a site appropriate to your study species' taxa.

  • For some taxa (for example, reptiles or invertebrates), a field guide might be the only reliable source for basic natural history on your study species. For other taxa, Google search the species name or the common name and a geographic location. Here are some quality website options:
  • Please note that further resources may need to be consulted for species that range outside of the Americas.
  • And finally, if none of these options fit your study organism, please ask your Instructor for assistance.

READ AND NOTE: Read the species account to gather details about habits, needs, and patterns. It might help to download and save or copy & print the species account for easy access to this vital information throughout your project. 

For birds visit:

For mammals visit:

Searching in BioOne (more recent info):

To find a mammal species in an issue of Mammalian Species within the BioOne interface, start by entering the common name or scientific name in the search box:

Screenshot of BioOne search box

Next, narrow your search to just results from Mammalian Species. On the left side of the search results page, enter Mammalian Species in the Publication Title search box. Then click "apply refinements."

Screenshot of BioOne refine results by publication option

Searching in JSTOR (more historical info):

To find a mammal species in an issue of Mammalian Species within the JSTOR interface, start by selecting the Advanced Search option:

Screenshot of JSTOR advanced search option

Next, enter the common name or scientific name for your species. Then scroll down the page and enter Mammalian Species in the journal or book title search box. Finish by clicking the "Submit Advanced Search" button.

Screenshot of JSTOR refine by publication option

For fish visit: