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Dipodomys microps

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA HETEROMYIDAE

Scientific Name: Dipodomys microps
Species Authority: (Merriam, 1904)
Common Name(s):
English Chisel-toothed Kangaroo Rat, Houserock Chisel-toothed Kangaroo Rat, House Rock Valley Kangaroo Rat

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 because it is widespread, common, there are no major threats, and its populations are not in decline.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found from nearly the entire Great Basin in the United States, from southwestern Idaho (Raft River Valley, Cassia County; Elmore Desert, Elmore County) and southeastern Oregon through eastern California, Nevada, and western Utah to southern California and northern Arizona; west to the Sierra Nevada, east to the Wasatch Mountains. It generally occurs at moderate elevations but has been recorded up to 3,200 m asl in Inyo County, California. There is a discontinuous relict distribution in San Bernardino County, California.
Countries:
Native:
United States (Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is widespread and considered secure within its range (NatureServe). Reported population density of up to about seven per hectare in Nevada, and up to 34 per hectare in Utah.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found in desert valleys dominated by saltbush/shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia) throughout most of its range. It is found also in the blackbush (Coleogyne ramosissima) zone along the southern edge of its range. In southern Nevada, this species is most abundant in Coleogyne and Grayia/Lycium communities; it also occurs in other types of shrubby communities. They occur on rocky slopes in some areas, however, they are rarely captured on sand dunes.

Nests are found in underground burrows that typically open near the base of shrubs. In Inyo County, California, mating usually occurs from February to mid-March, with births from March to mid-April or sometimes later. Pregnant females occur from April to June in Nevada. Gestation lasts 30-34 days. Females produce a single litter of one to four (most often two), though under exceptionally good conditions a few may produce two litters per year. Juveniles typically do not mature sexually in their season of birth in southeastern California (Kenagy and Bartholomew, 1985).

Chisel-toothed kangaroo rats are basically solitary. Reported average home range size varies from less than one hectare to about five hectare (see Hayssen, 1991). They are most abundant in spring and early summer. They are a major primary consumer and prey item for carnivores. Life span averages just over a year. Diet generally is dominated by leaves (especially of saltbush, from which hyper saline outer layers are removed) in the northern and central parts of the range, by seeds in the south. Will sometimes eat insects and fungi. Climbs saltbush plants to forage for leaves. Caches leaves and/or seeds in burrow. This species is active throughout the year and is not known to aestivate or hibernate. They are nocturnal with limited activity at dawn and dusk.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

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

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The range of the species includes a few protected areas. Of the 13 subspecies, two are of conservation concern alfredi and leucotis, both are federal C2 candidate taxa. Subspecies leucotis is also a candidate taxon for listing in Arizona (Hafner, 1998).

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Dipodomys microps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 01 August 2014.
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