Map_thumbnail_large_font

Microdipodops megacephalus

Status_ne_offStatus_dd_offStatus_lc_onStatus_nt_offStatus_vu_offStatus_en_offStatus_cr_offStatus_ew_offStatus_ex_off

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA HETEROMYIDAE

Scientific Name: Microdipodops megacephalus
Species Authority: Merriam, 1891
Common Name(s):
English Dark Kangaroo Mouse, Owyhee River Kangaroo Mouse

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 relatively widespread, although there have been some declines and loss of habitat within its range, its extent of occurrence is still much greater than 20,000 km², and the declines are not fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the western United States; from southeastern Oregon, northeastern and central-eastern California, Nevada, the tip of southwestern Idaho, and west-central Utah.
Countries:
Native:
United States (California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah)
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 Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Dark kangaroo mice prefer loose sands and gravel. They are found in Shadscale Scrub, Sagebrush Scrub, and Alkali Sink plant communities in the Upper Sonoran life zone. They may occur in sand dunes near the margins of their range. They remain underground when inactive. They are possibly polyestrous (Hall ,1946). The majority of young are born in May and June. Litter size is two to seven (average 3.9). Predators include owls, foxes, badgers. In west-central Nevada the mean yearly circular home range for males was 6,613sqm and for females, 3,932sqm (O'Farrell and Blaustein, 1974).

Seeds are the primary food source. They also eats some insects. They do not appear to utilize free water. They are believed to store food in seed caches within burrow system (O'Farrell and Blaustein, 1974). Activity observed March-October. Peak nocturnal activity occurs in first two hours after sunset. Moonlight and ambient temperature influence activity (O'Farrell and Blaustein, 1974).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Some Microdipodops populations have declined as a result of the introduction of weedy grasses and extreme habitat alteration for cultivation (e.g., irrigation of dry sinks) (Hafner et al., 1998). In addition to these human-related habitat changes, apparently natural shifts in vegetative zones have resulted in the replacement of rodent communities including Microdipodops by those including Dipodomys deserti, and vice versa (J. C. Hafner, pers. obs.). Natural and human-related habitat modifications may have amplified effects on the already fragmented, patchy distribution of Microdipodops (Hafner et al. 1998).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The dark kangaroo mouse is not known to occur in any protected areas.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Microdipodops megacephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 December 2014.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided