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About Giant Kangaroo Rats
There are over 20 different species of kangaroo rats that have been placed on the endangered species list. One of the species on the list are the Giant kangaroo rats (Dipodomys ingens). These endangered animals are the largest in the kangaroo rat family. These large rodents can grow up to 23 inches, including their tails. This tiny animal has an enormous leap of over six feet.
Giant kangaroo rats live in natural habitats of dry and sandy grasslands. These rodents are rarely seen because they only come to the surface for 15 minutes at a time. The kangaroo rats are unique because they require very little water to survive. They live off of a diet of seeds and plants that they store underground to survive the winter.
The giant kangaroo rats can only be found in west-central California. The area they call home is less than five square miles, located between the Carrizo Plain and Taft city. This area has become legally protected to help increase the population numbers of this rodent.
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Why are Kangaroo Rats Endangered?
The habitat of Kangaroo Rats has been diminished by agricultural growth in the area. As the population of California increases, more land is needed to grow crops and raise livestock to feed the population. Land also continues to be developed for housing. Every time land is developed for human needs it destroys the natural home of the Kangaroo Rat.
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Many conservation attempts have been underway to help replenish this rodent population. With the efforts in place, the kangaroo rats may someday be able to be removed from the endangered species list. The current population of this rodent is frequently monitored to measure the changes in their population.
Land is being set aside for the giant kangaroo rat species to help replenish their population. The area of land that is protected lies between the San Luis Obispo county and Kern County in California. This area is protected to limit the agricultural growth in the area. This project strives to maintain a suitable habitat for the rodents to survive. With this effort in place, it is hoped the kangaroo rat population will increase and they can be one of the species to be removed from the endangered species list.