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Baldy Peak Cave

NM: Luna Co.: 0.5 mi SE top Baldy Peak, Florida Mts., E edge SE ¼ Sec 36, T25S, R8W; 1950 m

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Location of Baldy Peak Cave.Age. Presumed to be Rancholabrean and some of the fauna clearly is, but some may be Holocene.

General Description. A small, mostly vertical, opening into limestone. It has been mined, with a spoil pile near the entrance. Fossils were retrieved from the spoil and from thin fill left along the bottom of the vertical crevice. The site was discovered by UTEP botanist, Richard Worthington.

Discussion. The presence of the Common Muskrat is especially interesting since it indicates the presence of permanent water nearby. The only likely candidate is the Mimbres River, now a southward-draining ephemeral waterway running parallel to the Florida Mountains.

Fauna

Marmota flaviventris—Yellow-bellied Marmot
Tamias cinereicollis—Gray-collared Chipmunk (?)
Thomomys bottae—Botta's Pocket Gopher
Microtus mogollonensis—Mogollon Vole
Ondatra zibethicus—Common Muskrat
Neotoma albigula—White-throated Woodrat (cf.)
Neotoma cinerea—Bushy-tailed Woodrat
Neotoma mexicana—Mexican Woodrat
Lepus sp.—Jackrabbits
Sylvilagus audubonii/floridanus—Desert or Eastern Cottontail
Notiosorex dalquesti—Dalquest's Shrew (Carraway 2010)
Sorex monticolus—Montane Shrew
Mephitis mephitis—Striped Skunk
Bassariscus astutus—Ringtail
Odocoileus sp.—Deer

Withdrawn: Microtus montanus—Montane Vole (?)

Literature. Carraway 2010; Harris 1985a, 1993c.

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Last Update: 30 Oct 2011