Dipodomys venustus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Heteromyidae

Scientific Name: Dipodomys venustus (Merriam, 1904)
Common Name(s):
English Narrow-faced Kangaroo Rat
Taxonomic Source(s): Best, T.L., Chesser, R.K., McCullough, D.A. and Baumgardner, G.D. 1996. Genic and morphometric variation in kangaroo rats, genus Dipodomys, from coastal California. Journal of Mammalogy 77: 785-800.
Taxonomic Notes: Subspecies elephantinus formerly was recognized as a distinct species. Best et al. (1996) examined genetic and morphological variation in D. agilis, D. elephantinus, and D. venustus and concluded that D. agilis is not conspecific with elephantinus or venustus and that elephantinus should be regarded as a subspecies of D. venustus. This arrangement was adopted by Baker et al. (2003) and Patton (in Wilson and Reeder 2005).

Three subspecies are recognized: D. v. venustus Merriam, 1904 – SW USA (disjunct populations in the Santa Cruz Mts and adjacent areas W of the Santa Clara Valley, the Diablo Range, and the N end of the Gabilan Range of WC California).
D. v. elephantinus Grinnell, 1919 – SW USA (restricted distribution in the S Gabilan Range of WC California).
D. v. sanctiluciae Grinnell, 1919 – SW USA (Coast Ranges from S Monterey Bay to Santa Lucia Mts of WC California) (D. J. Hafner pers. comm. 2016).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-05-27
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Hafner, D., Linzey, A. & Hammerson, G.A.
Listed as Least Concern, although its extent of occurrence is very close to 20,000 km², its populations are relatively secure, there are no major threats to the species throughout its range, and it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species' range includes coastal mountains of west-central California in the United States; the species is historically known from San Mateo County southward to San Luis Obispo County, and east to San Benito County; from near sea level to 1,770 m asl (Best 1992, Best et al. 1996).
Countries occurrence:
United States (California)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1770
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:For the species as a whole, the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size probably are relatively stable or are declining at a rate of less than 10% over 10 years or three generations. Subspecies venustus is declining in range and abundance. Recent extirpations have occurred (Caitlin Bean pers. comm. 2004). Subspecies elephantinus is probably stable. Subspecies sanctiluciae is unknown but probably relatively stable.

The three subspecies are known from roughly 50 locations (Caitlin Bean unpublished map 2004) that represent probably no more than three dozen distinct occurrences, and not all of these are extant. Subspecies venustus is currently known from just one extant population (Caitlin Bean pers. comm. 2004). The total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Narrow-faced Kangaroo Rat occurs on maritime slopes covered with chaparral or a mixture of chaparral and oaks. It burrows in sandy, well-drained, deep soils. Subspecies venustus and sanctiluciae inhabit chaparral and chaparral mixed with oaks or digger pine, including sandy, well-drained, and deep soils that have been disturbed by human activity, typically on steep slopes. Shelters and nests are in underground burrows and burrows have been found in open, abandoned agricultural land; one individual may have multiple burrows. Subspecies elephantinus occurs on slopes, flats, and ridgetops with friable soil in mixed and chamise chaparral in oak/pine woodland zone, typically under dense vegetation (sympatric Dipodomys heermanni occupies adjacent open habitat) (Best 1986). Young are born in underground burrows. The Narrow-faced Kangaroo Rat produces one to two litters of two to four young each year (see Best 1992). Diet includes seeds of annuals and some green vegetation. Caches seeds underground or in surface pits.
Generation Length (years):2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the species throughout its range. Threats to the subspecies venustus include habitat loss/degradation and fragmentation as a result of urbanization, residential development, and sand mining.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The range of the species includes a few protected areas.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Dipodomys venustus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T42605A22227166. . Downloaded on 25 September 2017.
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