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The Status of Tipton Kangaroo Rats
and the
Potential for Their Recovery

presented to

The Wildlife Society, Western Section, 14 Feb. 1998

by

Curtis E. Uptain
Daniel F. Williams
P.A. Kelly
and
Laurissa P. Hamilton

Abstract

Abundances of kangaroo rats in the southern San Joaquin Valley have been substantially declining in recent years. We have observed declines of the endangered Tipton kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides nitratoides) that approach 100 percent at four separate study sites. Although kangaroo rat populations typically exhibit great fluctuations in abundance, the highly fragmented and isolated condition of Tipton kangaroo rat populations coupled with these declines and their naturally low fecundity have resulted in a serious threat to the continued survival of this species. Many of the smaller populations may have been extirpated and many of the larger populations may not be temporally viable. Certainly, this situation requires that increased consideration be given to recovery efforts including expanding the size and suitability of existing preserves and natural habitats, creating connections between those habitats that are suitable for genetic exchange, and determining and implementing appropriate habitat management actions. Recovery of this species may be realized through land retirement programs and land banking systems to augment preserves and habitat restoration including natural vegetative recovery, artificial seeding, creation of micro-relief, burning, mowing, grazing, and translocations of Tipton kangaroo rats.

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