Microdipodops pallidus - Merriam, 1901
Pale Kangaroo Mouse
Other English Common Names: pale kangaroo mouse
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Microdipodops pallidus Merriam, 1901 (TSN 180253)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.103796
Element Code: AMAFD02020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Mammals - Rodents
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Mammalia Rodentia Heteromyidae Microdipodops
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.
Concept Reference Code: B93WIL01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Microdipodops pallidus
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G3
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Apr2006
Global Status Last Changed: 13Mar2000
Rounded Global Status: G3 - Vulnerable
Reasons: Small range in southwestern Nevada and extreme eastern California.
Nation: United States
National Status: N3 (07Mar2005)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States California (SNR), Nevada (S2)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 5000-200,000 square km (about 2000-80,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Range encompasses the Great Basin region of west-central and south-central Nevada, extreme eastern Mono county, California, and a disjunct area in Deep Spring Valley, Inyo County, California (Hall 1946, O'Farrell and Blaustein 1974, Williams et al. 1993), mostly on fine sandy valley bottoms at elevations of about 1,200-1,750 meters (1,530-1,590 meters in California). The distribution comprises several disjunct geographic units.

Number of Occurrences: 21 - 80
Number of Occurrences Comments: Hall (1946) mapped about 42 collection sites in Nevada; these likely represent at least a few dozen distinct occurrences or subpopulations.

Population Size: 10,000 - 1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 10,000. These mice sometimes are locally abundant.

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Some Microdipodops populations have declined as a result of introduction of weedy grasses and extreme habitat alteration from cultivation (e.g., irrigation of dry sinks) (Hafner et al. 1998). In addition to these human-related habitat changes, apparently natural shifts in vegetative zones have resulted in the replacement of rodent communities including Microdipodops by those including Dipodomys deserti, and vice versa (J. C. Hafner, pers. obs.). Natural and human-related habitat modifications may have amplified effects on the already fragmented, patchy distribution of Microdipodops (Hafner et al. 1998).

Short-term Trend: Relatively Stable (<=10% change)

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to Relatively Stable
Long-term Trend Comments: Extent of occurennce, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size probably have declined over the long term, but the degree of decline is unknown.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: (5000-200,000 square km (about 2000-80,000 square miles)) Range encompasses the Great Basin region of west-central and south-central Nevada, extreme eastern Mono county, California, and a disjunct area in Deep Spring Valley, Inyo County, California (Hall 1946, O'Farrell and Blaustein 1974, Williams et al. 1993), mostly on fine sandy valley bottoms at elevations of about 1,200-1,750 meters (1,530-1,590 meters in California). The distribution comprises several disjunct geographic units.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States CA, NV

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: Sechrest, 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
NV Churchill (32001), Esmeralda (32009), Lincoln (32017), Lyon (32019), Mineral (32021), Nye (32023), Pershing (32027), Storey (32029)*, Washoe (32031)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
16 Truckee (16050102)+, Pyramid-Winnemucca Lakes (16050103)+, Granite Springs Valley (16050104)+, Middle Carson (16050202)+, Carson Desert (16050203)+, East Walker (16050301)+, West Walker (16050302)+, Walker (16050303)+, Walker Lake (16050304)+*, Dixie Valley (16060001)+*, Gabbs Valley (16060002)+, Southern Big Smoky Valley (16060003)+, Fish Lake-Soda Spring Valleys (16060010)+, Ralston-Stone Cabin Valleys (16060011)+, Hot Creek-Railroad Valleys (16060012)+, Cactus-Sarcobatus Flats (16060013)+, Sand Spring-Tikaboo Valleys (16060014)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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General Description: This small mouse (total length 150-173 mm) is light pinkish cinnamon above, with hairs white to the base on the belly and underside of the tail; tail is thickest in the middle and lacks a terminal tuft and other conspicuous markings; incisors are not grooved; hindfoot has hair on the sole (Whitaker 1996).
Diagnostic Characteristics: Microdipodops megacephalus (total length 148-177 mm) is blackish or dark grayish above, with hairs gray at the base, and white below; tail has a black tip (Whitaker 1996).
Reproduction Comments: Pregnant individuals recorded from 29 March to 22 September. Litter size reported to range from 2-6 with a mean of 3.9.
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Desert
Special Habitat Factors: Burrowing in or using soil
Habitat Comments: Habitat is nearly restricted to fine sands in alkali sink and desert scrub dominated by Atriplex confertifolia (shadscale) or Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush). This mouse often burrows in areas of soft, windblown sand piled at the bases of shrubs.
Adult Food Habits: Granivore
Immature Food Habits: Granivore
Food Comments: Stores and eats seeds during much of the year, also takes a relatively high percentage of insects and green vegetation, especially during the breeding season.
Adult Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Hibernates/aestivates, Nocturnal
Phenology Comments: May become torpid; spring/summer torpor brief, employed only when starving; multiday torpor may occur in winter (French 1989). Has burst of activity just after sundown and is active throughout the night.
Length: 17 centimeters
Weight: 17 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Kangaroo Rats and Allies

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals in appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Mapping Guidance: Sites separated by 200 to 1000 meters should be mapped as separate polygons.
Separation Barriers: Major water barriers, arbitrarily set at greater than 50 meters; also major roads, greater than 30 meters clearance.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 1 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Home ranges generally are small or very small, and scant dispersal data suggest that dispersal usually may be less than a few hundred meters. For example, in southeastern Arizona, lifetime dispersal distance for Dipodomys merriami ranged from 0-265 m; nightly movements were up to about 150 m from home range center (Jones 1989). On the other hand, these rodents clearly are capabale of making long moves, and itt seems unlikely that observations separated by less than several kilometers of suitable habitat would represent distinct occurrences.

Home range varies from 0.06 to 3.09 hectares in Perognathus (O'Farrell et al. 1975, Iverson 1967, Jorgensen and Hayward 1965, O'Farrell 1978, Chew and Butterworth 1964, Maza et al. 1973); 0.39 to 4.4 hectares in Microdipodops (O'Farrell and Blaustein 1974, Ghiselin 1970); 0.04 to 5.2 hectares in DIPODOMYS (MacMillen 1964, Fitch 1948, Maza et al. 1973, Bleich 1977, O'Farrell 1978, Blair 1943, Bartholomew and Caswell 1951, Thomas 1975, Bradford 1976); and 0.1 to 2.4 hectares in Chaetodipus (Maza et al. 1973, Jorgensen and Hayward 1965, Reynolds and Haskell 1949, O'Farrell 1978, MacMillen 1964).

Major roads can be significant barriers to movement of small mammals (Oxley et al. 1974, Wilkins 1982, Garland and Bradley 1984).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .06 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a home range of 0.33 hectares, the smaller end of the average scale for most heteromyids (see Separation Justification). Note that some species have smaller known home ranges: e.g. 0.04 to 0.16 hectares in DIPODOMYS STEPHENSI (Bleich 1977), and 0.12 to 0.24 hectares in CHAETODIPUS BAILEYI and 0.1 to 0.2 hectares in C. PENICILLATUS (Reynolds and Haskell 1949).
Date: 21Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 07Apr2006
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G., and J. Morefield
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 22Mar2007
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Bartholomew, G. A., and H. H. Caswell. 1951. Locomotion in kangaroo rats and its adaptive significance. Journal of Mammalogy 32:155-169.

  • Blair, W. F. 1943. Populations of the deer mouse and associated small mammals in the mesquite associations of southern New Mexico. Contributions of the Laboratory of Vertebrate Biology, University of Michigan, No. 21. 40 pp.

  • Bleich, V. C. 1977. Dipodomys stephensi. Mammalian Species No. 73:1-3.

  • Bradford, D. F. 1976. Space utilization by rodents in Adenostoma chaparral. Journal of Mammalogy 57:576-579.

  • Chew, R. M., and B. B. Butterworth. 1964. Ecology of rodents in Indian Cove (Mojave Desert), Joshua Tree National Monument, California. Journal of Mammalogy 45:203-225.

  • Fitch, H. S. 1948. Habits and economic relationships of the Tulare kangaroo rat. Journal of Mammalogy 29:5-35.

  • French, A. R. 1989. Seasonal variation in use of torpor by pallid kangaroo mice, MICRODIPODOPS PALLIDUS. J. Mamm. 70:839-842.

  • Garland, T., Jr. and W. G. Bradley. 1984. Effects of a highway on Mojave Desert rodent populations. American Midland Naturalist 111:47-56.

  • Genoways, H. H., and J. H. Brown, editors. 1993. Biology of the Heteromyidae. American Society of Mammalogists Special Publication No. 10. 719 pp.

  • Ghiselin, J. 1970. Edaphic control of habitat selection by kangaroo mice (Microdipodops) in three Nevada populations. Oecologia 4:248-261.

  • Hafner, D. J., E. Yensen, and G. L. Kirkland, Jr. (compilers and editors). 1998. North American rodents. Status survey and conservation action plan. IUCN/SSC Rodent Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. x + 171 pp.

  • Hall, E. R. 1941. Revision of the rodent genus Microdipodops. Zoological Series of Field Museum of Natural History 22: 233-269.

  • Hall, E. R. 1946. Mammals of Nevada. The University of California Press, Berkeley, California.

  • Hall, E. R. 1981a. The Mammals of North America, second edition. Vols. I & II. John Wiley & Sons, New York, New York. 1181 pp.

  • Ingles, L. G. 1965. Mammals of the Pacific States. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.

  • Iverson, S. L. 1967. Adaptations to arid environments in PEROGNATHUS PARVUS (Peale). Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. British Columbia, Vancouver. 130pp.

  • Jameson, E. W., Jr., and H. J. Peeters. 2004. Mammals of California. Revised edition. University of California Press, Berkeley. 429 pp.

  • Jones, J. K., Jr., R. S. Hoffman, D. W. Rice, C. Jones, R. J. Baker, and M. D. Engstrom. 1992a. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 1991. Occasional Papers, The Museum, Texas Tech University, 146:1-23.

  • Jorgensen, C. D., and C. L. Hayward. 1965. Mammals of the Nevada test site. Brigham Young University Science Bulletin, Biol. Ser. No. 7. 81pp.

  • MacMillen, R. E. 1964. Population ecology, water relations and social behavior of a southern California semidesert rodent fauna. University of California Publications in Zoology 71:1-59.

  • Maza, B. G., N. R. French, and A. P. Aschwanden. 1973. Home range dynamics in a population of heteromyid rodents. Journal of Mammalogy 54:405-425.

  • O'Farrell, M. J. 1978. Home range dynamics of rodents in a sagebrush community. Journal of Mammalogy 59:657-68.

  • O'Farrell, M.J. and A.R. Blaustein, 1974a. Microdipodops pallidus. Mammalian Species 47:1-2.

  • O'Farrell, M.J. and A.R. Blaustein. 1974b. Microdipodops megacephalus. Mammalian Species 46:1-3.

  • O'Farrell, T. P., R. J. Olson, R. O. Gilbert, and J. D. Hedlund. 1975. A population of Great Basin pocket mice, PEROGNATHUS PARVUS, in the shrub-steppe of south-central Washington. Ecological Monographs 45:1-28.

  • Oxley, D. J., M. B. Fenton and G. R. Carmody. 1974. The effects of roads on populations of small mammals. Journal of Applied Ecology 11: 51-59.

  • Reynolds, H. G., and H. S. Haskell. 1949. Life history notes on Price and Bailey pocket mice of southern Arizona. Journal of Mammalogy 30:150-156.

  • Ryan, J. M. 1989. Comparative myology and phylogenetic systematics of the Heteromyidae (Mammalia, Rodentia). Univ. Michigan Museum Zoology Miscellaneous Publication (176):1-103.

  • Thomas, J. R., Jr. 1975. Distribution, population densities, and home range requirements of the Stephens' kangaroo rat (DIPODOMYS STEPHENSI). M.S. Thesis, California State Polytechnic University, Ponoma. 64pp.

  • Whitaker, J. O., Jr. 1996. National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA. 937 pp.

  • Wilkins, K. T. 1982. Highways as barriers to rodent dispersal. Southwestern Naturalist 27: 459-460.

  • Williams, D. F., H. H. Genoways, and J. K. Braun. 1993a. Taxonomy. Pages 38-196 in H. H. Genoways and J. H. Brown, editors. Biology of the Heteromyidae. American Society of Mammalogists Special Publication 10:1-719.

  • Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder (editors). 1993. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. Second edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC. xviii + 1206 pp. Available online at: http://www.nmnh.si.edu/msw/.

  • Zeveloff, S. I. 1988. Mammals of the intermountain west. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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