The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

From 1889 to 1905 a team of scientists, led by Bailey, had surveyed the fauna of
Texas with an emphasis on lizards, snakes, and mammals. David Schmidly, a
mammalogist and currently president of Texas Tech University has produced a
massive book that includes a reprint of that 1905 publication, and much more.
The lengthy introduction provides useful information on the biological survey
and its work in Texas as well as brief biographies of the field agents, which in-
cluded such distinguished scientists as William Bray, Ned Hollister, and Harry
Oberholser.
Schmidly chose mammals to illustrate what happened in the twentieth century
to the natural history of Texas. He has provided 181 annotations to the original
addition that updated such things as nomenclature and taxonomy of each mam-
mal as well as changes that have occurred in distribution and conservation sta-
tus.
What Bailey published originally was only a fraction of the information con-
tained in the field reports from the various scientists and none of their pho-
tographs. In a chapter entitled "Texas Landscapes," excerpts from the reports
and a sampling of black-and-white photographs are provided for each of the ten
ecological regions of Texas today. The remainder of the book is devoted to iden-
tifying the twentieth-century changes in the landscape, land uses, and mammal
fauna, and provides a look at the challenges facing wildlife conservation in Texas
in the twenty-first century. A brief but perceptive look is given to such issues as
fire suppression, the loss of wetlands, the misuse of water, encroachment of
brush, land development, and the invasion of alien plants. The study concludes
with a list of twelve challenges among which are strengthening scientific re-
search capability, increasing participation of private landowners, making conser-
vation education a priority for the public, and focusing on sustainable resource
systems and ecosystem management. The author lays out a valuable blueprint for
how the state can meet the challenges successfully in the next century.
The appendix contains a listing of the scientific and common names of the
animals and plants listed in the original survey. There also is a comprehensive
bibliography.
The title is somewhat of a misnomer-the book provides us only a part of the
natural history of Texas. We still need a similar in-depth look at what has hap-
pened to birds, insects, and plants that also make up the natural history of the
state during the twentieth century.
University of Texas at San Antonio Dwight Henderson
Dance Halls and Last Calls: A History of Texas Country Muszc. By Geronimo Trevino
III. (Plano: Republic of Texas Press, 2002. Pp. xii+257. Foreword, acknowl-
edgments, introduction, sources, index. ISBN 1-55622-927-5. $18.95,
cloth.)
Dance halls are as much a part of the rural Texas landscape as windmills and
barbed-wire fences. Often built as community centers by Germans and other im-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/. Accessed November 23, 2014.