|Scientific Name:||Microdipodops megacephalus|
|Species Authority:||Merriam, 1891|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)|
|Reviewer(s):||Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)|
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 threatened category.
|Previously published Red List assessments:||
|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.|
Native:United States (California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah)
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||This species is apparently secure within its range (NatureServe).|
|Current Population Trend:||Decreasing|
|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).
|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:||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 2008: e.T42606A10725773. . Downloaded on 02 December 2015.|
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