Microdipodops megacephalus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Heteromyidae

Scientific Name: Microdipodops megacephalus 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: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-07-11
Assessor(s): Roach, N.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Linzey, A. & Hammerson, G.A.
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:

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 occurrence:
United States (California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is apparently secure within its range (NatureServe).
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

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).
Generation Length (years):2

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.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Citation: Roach, N. 2016. Microdipodops megacephalus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T42606A115193770. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
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