Dipodomys nitratoides exilis Merriam, 1894

Fresno kangaroo rat



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status


Last record: November 1992


The Fresno Kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides exilis) has not been located since November, 1992, when two specimens were captured (Kelly et al. 2005). Kuenzi (1997) came to the conclusion that coyotes (Canis latrans) do not prey upon Fresno Kangaroo rats, however this conclusion is almost certainly invalid because the last sighting of a Fresno Kangaroo rat was in late 1992 and may therefore have been extinct during much of her study. It would therefore be expected that few to no Fresno Kangaroo rat remains were found in the scats of coyotes, and therefore a lack of scat remains of Fresno Kangaroo rats is not necessarily indicative of a lack of predation by coyotes.



San Joaquin Valley, California, USA


Biology & Ecology










Original scientific description:

Merriam, C. H. (1894). Preliminary descriptions of eleven new kangaroo rats of the genera Dipodomys and Perodipus. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 9: 109-116.


Other references:

Chesemore, D. L. and Rhodehamel, W. M. (1992). Ecology of a vanishing subspecies: the Fresno kangaroo rat (Dipodomys nitratoides exilis). Pp. 99-103 in D.F. Williams, S. Byrne, and T.A. Rado (eds.). Endangered and sensitive species of the San Joaquin Valley: their biology, management and conservation. (Based on a conference held at California State University, Bakersfield 10-11 December 1987) California Energy Commission.

Culbertson, A. E. (1934). Rediscovery of Dipodomys nitratoides exilis. Journal of Mammalogy 15(2): 161-162.

Culbertson, A. E. (1946). Observations on the Natural History of the Fresno Kangaroo Rat. Journal of Mammalogy 27(3): 189-203. [Abstract]

Hoffman, M. W. and Chesemore, D. L. (1982). Distribution and status of the Fresno kangaroo rat, Dipodomys nitratoides exilis. California Department of Fish and Game Nongame Wildlife Investigations, Draft Final Report, Sacramento, CA.

Kelly, P. A., Phillips, S. E., & Williams, D. F. (2005). Documenting ecological change in time and space: the San Joaquin Valley of California. Mammalian Diversification: from Chromosomes to Phylogeography (a Celebration of the Career of James L. Patton).

Knudson, Tom. 2001. Rare kangaroo rat likely extinct in Central Valley, expert says. The San Diego Union-Tribune, May 6, 2001.

Kuenzi, Amy J. (1997). Diet of coyotes at Lemoore Naval Air Station. Trans. West Sect. Wildl. Soc. 33: 9-11.

Morrison, M. L., Mills, L. S., & Kuenzi, A. J. (1996). Study and management of an isolated, rare population: the Fresno kangaroo rat. Wildlife Society Bulletin 1996: 602-606.

Patton, James L. et al. (2019). Geographic variation and evolutionary history of Dipodomys nitratoides (Rodentia: Heteromyidae), a species in severe decline. Journal of Mammalogy. doi: [Abstract]

Suckling, Kieran, Slack, Rhiwena and Nowicki, Brian. (2004). Extinct and the Endangered Species Act. Centre For Biological Diversity. 63 pp.

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (1998). Recovery plan for upland species of the San Joaquin Valley, California. Portland, OR, USA.

Warner, D. R. (1976). The effects of grazing on Dipodomys nitratoides exilis in an alkali sink community (Doctoral dissertation, California State University, Fresno.).


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