does anyone have any recommendations for a pocket guide to North American mammals that is easy to use and not too bulky, please?

I have the Princeton Mammals of North America 2002 edition by Kays and Wilson but find some of the illustrations a bit ‘Watership Down’. I am aware that there is a more recent edition. Do you recommend it? Or is there soemthing better that is still portable?


Miles Foster


  • Andrew Block

    The best guide is the Peterson by Fiona Reid, but the 2009 edition of the Princeton guide is good. They updated some of the poor paintings but still needs better ones. Still a good guide though I will always go to Fiona’s first.


  • Jeff Higdon

    I’m in agreement with Andrew that the Peterson guide is a bit better (I have the 2006 4th edition), but the 2009 edition of the Princeton is an improvement over the first edition. Some of the Peterson maps are inaccurate for my part of the world, but that’s a function of expanding range for some species as much as anything (e.g., eastern gray squirrel in southern MB).

    If you have access to Project MUSE you can get a pdf copy of the Princeton guide. I don’t have institutional access, but early in the covid pandemic Project MUSE had all (or many of?) their books available for free download and I got a pdf version of it then.

  • Charles Foley

    Yes, I second Andrew’s comments. Fiona’s field guide is great.

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