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Fresno Kangaroo Rat Dipodomys nitratoides exilis


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Fresno Kangaroo Rat
credit: NPS

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Family: Heteromyidae, Pocket Mice and Kangaroo Rats view all from this family

Description The smaller of two subspecies. Uniform rusty brown or clay above, darkest on head; white below. Upper and lower dark tail stripes are broader than white stripes on side of tail, but meet along terminal one-third, thus interrupting white stripes. Lacks white tuft on tip of tail. Hindfoot has 4 toes. Lower incisors rounded in front.

Dimensions L 8 1/4-8 7/8" (211-226 mm); T 5" (127 mm); HF 1 1/4" (33 mm); E 1/3" (8.5 mm); Wt average 1 1/4 oz (35 g).

Endangered Status The Fresno Kangaroo Rat, a subspecies of the San Joaquin Kangaroo Rat, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in California. This subspecies formerly inhabited an extensive range in the San Joaquin Valley, but as that region was taken over by farming and development, the animal declined. In the early 1900s it was thought to be extinct, but was found surviving in 1933. The Fresno Kangaroo Rat is currently jeopardized by the threat of flooding from the San Joaquin River, the use of rodenticides to control pest species, and disease, as well as the continued degradation of its habitat.

Habitat Arid, often strongly alkaline, flat plains with sparse vegetation of grasses or sometimes orache (Atriplex). Ponds occur during wet season; lack of drainage causes the alkalinity.

Range San Joaquin Valley, California.