California kangaroo rat

California kangaroo rat
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae
Genus: Dipodomys
D. californicus
Binomial name
Dipodomys californicus
Merriam, 1890

The California kangaroo rat (Dipodomys californicus) is a species of rodent in the family Heteromyidae.[2] However, populations are declining as the drought in California destroys their habitat (the grasslands) and changes it into desert.


The California kangaroo rat is endemic to western North America, found in Northern California and southern Oregon.[3] Its distribution is from the Sierra Nevada foothills to Suisun Bay, and northwards in the California Coast Ranges to the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.[1] California's Kangaroo Mountain was likely named after the California kangaroo rat.[4]

It is an IUCN listed Least Concern species, due to the size of its distribution range.[1]


Dipodomys californicus was formerly included as a subspecies of Dipodomys heermanni, but differs enough in chromosomal and biochemical characteristics to warrant being recognized as a distinct species.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Linzey, A. V. & Hammerson, G. (NatureServe) (2008). "Dipodomys californicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  2. ^ Patton, J.L. (2005). "Family Heteromyidae". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 844–845. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ National Museum of Natural History: Dipodomys californicus .
  4. ^ Bright, William (1998). 1500 California Place Names: Their Origin and Meaning. University of California Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-520-21271-8.

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