Skip to main content.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Website Search Box

Department ofVertebrate Zoology

Division of Mammals

Tarsius bancanus
bar Don Wilson
    Don E. Wilson
    Curator Emeritus

  • Phone: (202)633-1265
  • Fax: (202)633-0182
  • E-mail: wilsond[at]

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 108
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    10th and Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0108


Ph.D.: University of New Mexico, 1970
M.S.: University of New Mexico, 1967
B.S.: University of Arizona, 1965

Research Interests

I am interested in mammalian evolution and classification in general, spurred primarily by 2 decades of shepherding "Mammal Species of the World" through 2 editions. A career-long fascination with bats continues unabated, and a smattering of my research time is devoted to various aspects of chiropteran biology. My current major project involves the production of a 9-volume treatise entitled "Handbook of Mammals of the World." The first volume, covering Carnivores, was published by Lynx Edicions in 2009. The sixth volume, on Lagomorphs and Rodents, appeared in 2016. I also retain an interest in the mammals of North America, which began with "The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals," and continued through 2 editions of the Princeton Field Guide to North American Mammals. Using text and photos from those 2 publications, we spun off a website devoted to North American Mammals and there is now an I-phone application as well.

Recent Publications

Wijedasa, Lahiru S., Jauhiainen, Jyrki, Könönen, Mari, Lampela, Maija, Vasander, Harri, LeBlanc, Marie-Claire, Evers, Stephanie, Smith, Thomas E. L., Yule, Catherine M., Varkkey, Helena, Lupascu, Massimo, Parish, Faizal, Singleton, Ian, Clements, Gopalasamy R., Aziz, Sheema Abdul, Harrison, Mark E., Cheyne, Susan, Anshari, Gusti Z., Meijaard, Erik, Goldstein, Jenny E., Waldron, Susan, Hergoualc'h, Kristell, Dommain, René, Frolking, Steve, Evans, Christopher D., et al 2017. Denial of long-term issues with agriculture on tropical peatlands will have devastating consequences. Global Change Biology, 23(3): 977-982. doi:10.1111/gcb.13516

Diersing, Victor E. and Wilson, Don E. 2017. Systematic status of the rabbits Sylvilagus brasiliensis and S. sanctaemartae from northwestern South America with comparisons to Central American populations. Journal of mammalogy, 98(6): 1641-1656. doi:10.1093/jmammal/gyx133

Moratelli, Ricardo, Wilson, Don E., Novaes, Roberto L. M., Helgen, Kristofer M. and Gutiérrez, Eliécer,E. 2017. Caribbean Myotis (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae), with description of a new species from Trinidad and Tobago. Journal of mammalogy, 98(4): 994-1008. doi:10.1093/jmammal/gyx062

Sánchez, Oscar and Wilson, Don E. 2016. Food items of Macrotus waterhousii (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) in central Mexico. THERYA, 7(1): 161-177. doi:10.12933/therya-16-355

Wilson, Don E., Lacher, Thomas E. and Mittermeier, Russell A. 2016. Handbook of the Mammals of the World: Lagomorphs and Rodents 1 Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. (Handbook of the Mammals of the World (6); ) 987 pages.

Moratelli, Ricardo, Wilson, Don E., Gardner, Alfred L., Fisher, Robert D. and Gutiérrez, Eliécer E. 2016. A New Species of Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) from Suriname. In: Manning, R. W., Goetze, J. R. and Yancey, F. D., Contributions in Natural History: A Memorial Volume in Honor of Clyde Jones. Lubbock, Texas: Texas Tech University, pp.49-66.

Moratelli, Ricardo and Wilson, Don E. 2015. A second record of Myotis diminutus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae): its bearing on the taxonomy of the species and discrimination from M. nigricans. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 127(4): 533-542. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-127.4.533

Wilson, Don and Mittermeier, Russell 2015. Handbook of the Mammals of the World: volume 5 Monotremes and Marsupials Barcelona: Lynx Ediciones. (; ) pages.

Moratelli, Ricardo, Idárraga, Liu and Wilson, Don E. 2015. Range extension of Myotis midastactus (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) to Paraguay. Biodiversity Data Journal, 3 doi:10.3897/BDJ.3.e5708

Wilson, Don E. and Mittermeier, Russell A. 2014. Handbook of Mammals of the World: Sea Mammals Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. (; ) 614 pages.

Moratelli, Ricardo and Wilson, Don E. 2014. A new species of Myotis from Bolivia (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae). Journal of Mammalogy, 95(4): E17-E25. doi:10.1644/14-MAMM-149

Complete List of Wilson's Publications and Downloadable PDFs

[ TOP ]