IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Brief Summary

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As might be expected from its name, the Fresno Kangaroo Rat inhabits south-central California. The species is at risk because agriculture takes ever-increasing bits of its habitat. It cannot live in cultivated areas, and particularly dislikes the near-proximity of irrigation ditches. It prefers arid, alkaline plains with sparse vegetation, where it consumes seeds of annuals and shrubs, including saltbush. These small kangaroo rats are nocturnal and do not hibernate. Adults are very aggressive toward each other except for male-female interactions during the breeding season. Females usually have litters of two. The young are well-developed at birth. They mother crouches over them, keeping them warm but not crushing them, while they nurse. Young siblings interact and groom each other. They are weaned when they are about three weeks old and are soon independent, digging their own burrows and keeping all others of their kind out.

Mammal Species of the World
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© Smithsonian Institution

Source: Smithsonian's North American Mammals

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