Microtus californicus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Microtus californicus
Species Authority: (Peale, 1848)
Common Name(s):
English Amargosa Vole, California Vole

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T., Castro-Arellano, I., Lacher, T. & Vázquez, E.
Reviewer(s): McKnight, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team) & Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Occurs from southwestern Oregon through central and western California (United States), and south into northern Baja California (Mexico). There are two disjunct populations in the Mohave Desert and White Mountain/Panamint ranges (California, USA).
Mexico; United States (California, Oregon)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Populations tend to be stable in coastal areas (around 200 individuals/ha), but in more strongly seasonal habitats densities vary dramatically over 2 to 5-year cycles, ranging from virtual absence to typical peaks of 450 individuals/ha.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Inhabits grasslands and wet meadows at low elevations. Also, coastal wetlands and open oak savanna with good ground cover.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): None to the species as a whole.

However, 4 subspecies (2 disjunct populations previously mentioned, one in northern Baja California, and one in the Los Angeles area) are of conservation concern.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no known conservation measures specific to this species. However, there are several protected areas within its range.

M. c. scirpensis is a federally Endangered species in the United States, with an extant recovery plan. In California, there are several subspecies of conservation concern: M. c. mohavensis, M. c. sanpabloensis, M. c. scirpensis, M. c. stephensi, and M. m. vallicola.

Citation: Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T., Castro-Arellano, I., Lacher, T. & Vázquez, E. 2008. Microtus californicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 03 September 2015.
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