Skip to comments.Supposedly extinct kangaroo rat resurfaces after 30 years
Posted on 05/06/2018 2:09:43 PM PDT by Libloather
The last time anyone saw the San Quintin kangaroo rat was more than 30 years ago, in the arid scrublands of Baja California in Mexico. Mexican authorities declared the small mammal critically endangered, and possibly extinct, in 1994. So biologists couldn't believe their eyes when not one, but four San Quintin kangaroo rats (Dipodomys gravipes) hopped into their survey traps in 2017.
Named for their ability to leap like kangaroos, the rats are key species in arid areas across western North America, dispersing seeds and feeding predators such as coyotes and foxes. The San Quintin kangaroo rat is about 12 centimeters long, with a long, tufted tail and enormous hind legs that allow it to leap about 2 meters and speed away at 10 kilometers per hour. They once lived by the thousands in a narrow coastal valley stretching 150 kilometers along the Pacific coast of northern Baja California.
But their numbers began to dwindle with the introduction of intensive agriculture in the 1970s, after which their habitat and food disappeared. Then, just 9 months ago, a team of researchers doing a routine inventory of mammals in the region discovered the rats in their survey traps. None of them had ever seen the species before, so they had to compare it with museum specimens and photographs, they will report in an upcoming issue of the Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencemag.org ...
RATS underground. Maybe the 'researchers' declared the critters extinct and took a much needed paid vacation for a few decades. Or, it could all be global warming...
I vote that it be rendered extinct.
These critters apparently managed to return from the verge of extinction without government intervention. Are they allowed to do this?
Aren’t they a vector for the Plague?
Awww, this thing is so cute! Reminds me of a gerbil, which is a very similar desert animal.
Damn. I thought we finally got rid of those things.
Dont say gerbil’ with Richard Gere around..
Richard Gere is NOT around. GERBIL, GERBIL, GERBIL!
The world is full of kangaroo rats. This particular subspecies was already marginalized and lived on a tiny patch of land when discovered.
Rats make a comeback in Mexico?
Don't know anything about this species, but the other North American k-rats are actually sort of adorable little animals. They're nocturnal, so while driving on dirt roads in the desert at night, you'll be surprised at how numerous they are.
As for defensive mechanisms, they don't really have any. When they're caught, they "never" bite either, unlike other rodents.
(I put quotes around "never" because in all my years, I've never heard of one biting a human. Except on one occasion: One of the young biologists I used to work with said her professor was handling k-rats and told the class not to worry, they never bite. Then it bit him. Guess it didn't hurt, but it shocked him.
As for me, I've handled k-rats during some small-mammal trapping surveys, but I always handled them by the scruff of the neck. I just wasn't willing to take the chance.)
I say, Stones! Youve been dipping into the rat-nip again!
I bet it’s like the mountain lions the DEC says aren’t in NY yet are there just the same.
Are you kidding? What do you call the government halting private industry, the use of private land by its owners and the confiscation of private land to protect a basically useless creature?
I want the Gaia worshipers to show exact how different the eco system was with and without this rat and how it was worth all the money and disruption of private property owners.
Global Warming is bringing extinct species back to life! It’s settled science.
So much time spent listening to them—back in the day.
Have these scientists not yet studied a Democrat convention?