Family: Heteromyidae, Pocket Mice and Kangaroo Rats view all from this family
Description Medium-large kangaroo rat with relatively broad face and moderate-sized ears. Has five toes on the hind feet. Dorsal pelage varies from tawny-olive strongly overwashed with black to orangish yellow. Tail crest may be dark and only slightly crested, blackish and very scantily haired or white tipped. Ears are smaller (12-15mm) than those of the Narrow-faced Kangaroo Rat.
Dimensions 250-313mm, 160-200mm, 70-80g
Endangered Status The Morro Bay Kangaroo Rat, a subspecies of Heerman's Kangaroo Rat, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in California, where it survives in in very small numbers in one small area of only 200 acres. The species owes its decline to the loss of its habitat to residential and commercial development. Because the population is so small and localized, it could be wiped out by a single catastrophic event.
Similar Species Smaller than the Giant Kangaroo Rat and larger than the San Joaquin Valley Kangaroo Rat.
Habitat Scrub, shrub & brushlands, Meadows & fields, Grasslands & prairies, Forests & woodlands
Discussion They excavate their own burrows and also use abandoned ground squirrel tunnels. Occurs in wide range of habitats from Lower Sonoran to Transition zone. The subspecies D. h. morroensis from the Morro Bay area is Endangered, and typically lacks a hip stripe.