Neotoma fuscipes 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae

Scientific Name: Neotoma fuscipes Baird, 1858
Common Name(s):
English Dusky-footed Woodrat, San Joaquin Valley Woodrat
Taxonomic Notes: Based on concordant patterns of morphological and mtDNA variation, Matocq (2002) split N. fuscipes into two species, N. fuscipes (Dusky-footed Woodrat) and N. macrotis (Large-eared Woodrat). This change was adopted in the North American mammal checklist by Baker et al. (2003). Musser and Carleton (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) also recognized the two as different species but applied the name "Big-eared Woodrat" to N. macrotis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-01-28
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Linzey, A.
Listed as Least Concern because its extent of occurrence is much greater than 20,000 km², it can be common within its range, and there are no major threats.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in extreme western United States, from the Columbia River in western Oregon southwards to the inner Coastal Range of west-central California, and north Sierra Nevadas, east-central California.
Countries occurrence:
Mexico (Baja California); United States (California, Oregon)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is considered secure within its range (NatureServe). Population density is up to about 45/ha in optimal conditions; more typically 1-3 dozen/ha.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a habitat specialist found in heavy chaparral; hardwood, conifer, and mixed forests, typically in densely wooded areas with heavy undergrowth; riparian woodlands. It builds house of debris on the ground or in a tree; houses tend to be in situations that are shaded, relatively cool, and in good cover, and they may be used by many generations over several years. After breeding, males live in tree dens apart from females.

One study found that each woodrat averaged 1.8 houses/home range. Loosely colonial, with partially overlapping home ranges; several individuals may live in the same area, though individuals (aside from females with young) typically live in separate houses. Adult home range averages around 2,000 sqm. Predators include hawks, owls, bobcat, coyote, long-tailed weasel, etc. Stick houses provide cover for many vertebrate and invertebrate commensals.

Most young are born from February (especially in south) to May. Gestation lasts 30-37 days. Usually one litter per year. Litter size is 1-4, usually 2-3. Weaning begins at three weeks (Carraway and B. J. Verts 1991, Maser et al. 1981). Diet includes a wide variety of plants. Feeds on seeds, nuts, acorns, fruits, green vegetation, inner bark, and fungi. This woodrat stores food. It is primarily nocturnal.
Generation Length (years):2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Generally populations are negatively affected by grazing and the removal of undergrowth or shrubby vegetation, but these are not major threats to the species overall.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The range of this species includes several protected areas.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Baker, R.J., Bradley, L.C., Bradley, R.D., Dragoo, J.W., Engstrom, M.D., Hoffman, R.S., Jones, C.A., Reid, F., Rice, D.W. and Jones, C. 2003. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 2003. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University 229: 23 pp.

Carraway, L.N. and Verts, B.J. 1991. Neotoma fuscipes. Mammalian Species 386: 1-10.

Hafner, D.J., Yensen, E. and Kirkland, G.L., Jr. 1998. Status survey and conservation action plan - North American Rodents. IUCN/SSC Rodent Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Maser, C., Mate, B.R., Franklin, J.F. and Dryness, C.T. (eds). 1981. Natural history of Oregon coast mammals. pp. 496 pp.. Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station.

Motacq, M.D. 2002. Morphological and molecular analysis of a contact zone in the Neotoma fuscipes complex. Journal of Mammalogy 83: 866-883.

Musser, G.G. and Carleton, M.D. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. In: D.E. Wilson and D.A. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: a geographic and taxonomic reference, pp. 894-1531. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Wilson, D.E. and Ruff, S. 1999. The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Neotoma fuscipes. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T14587A22371665. . Downloaded on 23 September 2018.
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