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Microdipodops pallidus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA HETEROMYIDAE

Scientific Name: Microdipodops pallidus
Species Authority: Merriam, 1901
Common Name(s):
English Pale Kangaroo Mouse, Soda Spring Valley 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. & Morefield, J.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because its extent of occurrence is greater than 20,000 km², it can be locally abundant, and its population is not declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The range of the pale kangaroo mouse encompasses the Great Basin region of west-central and south-central Nevada, extreme eastern Mono county, California, and a disjunct area in Deep Spring Valley, Inyo County, California in the United States (Hall, 1946; O'Farrell and Blaustein, 1974; Williams et al., 1993). It occurs mostly on fine sandy valley bottoms at elevations of about 1,200-1,750 m asl (1,530-1,590 m asl in California). The distribution comprises several disjunct geographic units.
Countries:
Native:
United States (California, Nevada)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000. These mice sometimes are locally abundant. Hall (1946) mapped about 42 collection sites in Nevada; these likely represent at least a few dozen distinct occurrences or subpopulations. The extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size probably have declined over the long term, but the degree of decline is unknown.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The species' habitat is nearly restricted to fine sands in alkali sink and desert scrub dominated by Atriplex confertifolia (shadscale) or Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush). This mouse often burrows in areas of soft, windblown sand piled at the bases of shrubs. Pregnant individuals have been recorded from late March to mid-September. Litter size is reported to range from two to six with a mean of 3.9. This species stores and eats seeds during much of the year and takes a relatively high percentage of insects and green vegetation, especially during the breeding season. This mouse may become torpid; in spring and summer torpor is brief, employed only when starving; in winter multiday torpor may occur (French, 1989). It is nocturnal; and has a burst of activity just after sundown and is active throughout the night.
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 from 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: This species is not known to occur in protected areas.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G. & Morefield, J.) 2008. Microdipodops pallidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 23 October 2014.
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