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Dipodomys heermanni

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA HETEROMYIDAE

Scientific Name: Dipodomys heermanni
Species Authority: Le Conte, 1853
Common Name(s):
English Heermann's Kangaroo Rat, Morro Bay Kangaroo-rat, Morro Bay Kangaroo Rat
Taxonomic Notes: Dipodomys heermanni formerly included D. californicus, which Hall (1981) regarded as a subspecies of D. heermanni. Based on chromosomal and biochemical differences, Patton et al. (1976) and Patton (in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005) regarded D. heermanni and D. californicus as distinct species, as did Williams et al. (1993).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern since its extent of occurrence is much greater than 20,000 km², its populations are stable, and there are no major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found from west-central California, north to Suisun Bay and the American River, southward through the San Joaquin Valley below about 3,000 ft, and extending through the interior valleys and mountains to the coast at Morro Bay and from Point Sal to Point Conception in Santa Barbara County (Grinnell, 1922; Hall, 1981; Kelt, 1988; Williams et al., 1993).
Countries:
Native:
United States (California)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is apparently secure within its range (NatureServe). Population density varies widely with habitat. In San Luis Obispo County, density estimates varied from 42/ha in best habitat to 5/ha in marginal habitat.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Heermann's kangaroo rats primarily inhabit dry, gravelly valley grasslands and open chaparral. They may also occur in open foothill woodlands and the lower and upper Sonoran life zones. They prefer sparsely vegetated areas with loosely textured soil. When inactive, they occupy an underground burrow, within which young are born in a nest. Kangaroo rats may dig burrows from the shelter of ground squirrel burrows. Reproduction occurs mainly from February through October where breeding peaks in April and declines after July. Gestation lasts 30-32 days. Litter size is two to five young and adults may produce multiple litters annually. Young appear above ground at four to six weeks. Females breed during their first year.

Diet is mainly seeds, they also eats green vegetation, especially in winter and spring. They also feeds seasonally on small amounts of insect material. They obtain food from ground surface or cuts standing seed heads or green vegetation. This species generally emerges soon after dark. Rain and fog, and sometimes moonlight, may inhibit activity. In San Luis Obispo County, little or no activity occurred in January and February; activity increased in early summer, declined in mid-summer, with possible fall resurgence.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The subspecies morroensis on the south side of Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo County, California, is listed by USFWS as Endangered.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Dipodomys heermanni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 October 2014.
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