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Charles Preston

Charles Preston


Charles R. Preston is Senior Curator and Founding Curator-in-Charge of the Draper Museum of Natural History in Cody, Wyoming, near Yellowstone National Park. The innovative Draper Museum opened in 2002, as part of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center complex, in Cody, Wyoming. Dr. Preston has received international acclaim for his “visionary” leadership of Draper design and development, and the Draper has become a model for a new genre of immersive natural science museums focused on the integration of humans and nature near globally important conservation areas, such as Yellowstone National Park. Prior to his current appointment, Preston was Chairman of the Department of Zoology at the Denver Museum of Natural History, and before that Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He holds or has held adjunct faculty appointments in biology and environmental science at the University of Colorado (Boulder and Denver campuses), environmental policy and management at the University of Denver, and biological sciences at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. He promotes understanding of the dynamics of coupled human and natural systems through his writing, teaching, video documentaries, public appearances, and museum exhibits. He has authored four books and more than seventy scholarly and popular articles dealing with wildlife behavior and ecology, human dimensions of wildlife management, and the role of working scientists as public educators and interpreters.

Draper Museum of Natural History
Buffalo Bill Historical Center  720 Sheridan Avenue
Cody,  Wyoming  82414  United States
Phone: 307.578.4078 Fax: 307.578.4076
Email: cpreston@bbhc.org

   Research Interests

The ecology and conservation of raptors and carnivores; conflicts between people and large predators; effects of human land use and climate change on raptor population dynamics and predator-prey relationships; habitat use and effects of landscape composition on raptors in grassland and open shrubland biomes.

Species of Interest: 
  • Northern Harrier
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Swainson's Hawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Golden Eagle


Preston, C.R. 1980. Differential perch site selection by color morphs of the Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Auk 97:782-789.

Preston, C.R. 1981. Environmental influence on soaring in wintering Red-tailed Hawks. Wilson Bulletin 93:350-356.

Preston, C.R. 1990. Distribution of raptor foraging in relation to prey biomass and habitat structure. Condor 92:107-112.

Preston, C.R. 2000. Red-tailed Hawk. Wild Bird Guides Stackpole Books, Mechanicsburg, PA.

Preston, C. 2004. (Text) Golden Eagle: sovereign of the skies. Graphic Arts Publishing, Portland, OR.

Preston, C.R., and R.D. Beane. 1993. Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). The Birds of North America no. 52. The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, and American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Preston, C.R., and R.D. Beane. 1996. Occurrence and distribution of diurnal raptors in relation to human activity and other factors at Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Colorado. Pp. 366-374 in D.M. Bird, D.E. Varland, and J. Negro (eds.), Raptors in human landscapes. Academic Press, London.

Preston, C.R., C.S. Harger, and H.E. Harger. 1989. Habitat use and nest site selection by Red-shouldered Hawks in Arkansas. Southwestern Naturalist 34:72-78.

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