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Kangaroo Rat 

Kangaroo rats have buff-colored fur, with a white front on their bodies. Their tails, which are longer than their bodies, are narrow, with white and dark stripes on them and bushy tips. They can grow to be 9-12 inches long. The name “kangaroo rat,” comes from their long, white hind feet and powerful thighs, which look large compared to their tiny front feet, similar to a kangaroo’s body structure. Despite its name and mouse-like appearance, the kangaroo rat is actually not a rat or a mouse. It's a member of the heteromyidae family, with its closest relative being the pocket gopher.  

Kangaroo Rat
Kangaroo Rat, courtesy U.S. National Park Service   

 
Habitat: They love to dwell in shrub-dominated communities, and on some rocky slopes. Many BLM lands are dominated by sagebrush and saltbush, so kangaroo rats live throughout southern Idaho. Kangaroo rats are nocturnal, so you won’t see them very often, especially during daylight hours.  
 
Food: This rodent loves to eat leaves from saltbush, and they like to eat seeds as well. They will sometimes eat insects and fungi too.   

 

Fun Facts: Their powerful thighs allow them to jump up to six feet in one bound. 

Kangaroo Rat
Kangaroo Rat, courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Wildlife 

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Herbivore Mammals

Jackrabbit 
Pygmy rabbit 
Desert cottontail 
Beaver 
Eastern gray squirrel 
Red squirrel 
Chipmunk 
Deer mouse
Kangaroo rat 
Meadow vole 
Mule deer 
Elk 
Bighorn sheep 
American pronghorn 
Moose  


Carnivore Mammals

Bobcat 
American badger 
River otter 
Red fox 
Long-tailed weasel 
Coyote 
Grizzly bear 
Mountain lion   


Amphibians

 Salamanders 

  Long-toed salamander 
  Idaho giant salamander  
  Coeur d'Alene salamander

 Frogs and Toads  

  American bullfrog 
  Columbia spotted frog 
  Western toad 
  Northern leopard frog 
  Pacific tree frog 
  Great Basin spadefoot 

Reptiles 

Snakes

Painted turtle 
Northern alligator lizard 
Mohave black-collared lizard 
Short-horned lizard 
Desert horned lizard 
Sagebrush lizard 
Western fence lizard 
Western skink 
Side-blotched lizard 
Longnosed leopard lizard 
Western whiptail 

 

Bats 

Western pipistrelle 
Western small-footed myotis 
Little brown bat 
Yuma myotis 
Townsend's big-eared bat 
Hoary bat 
Silver-haired bat 
Fringed myotis 
Pallid bat

Sensitive Species (not a complete list) 

Greater sage-grouse 
Pygmy rabbit 
No. Idaho ground squirrel 
So. Idaho ground squirrel
Canada lynx 
Grizzly bear 
Selkirk Mtns. woodland caribou 
Kootenai White River sturgeon 
Bull trout 
Sockeye salmon 
Chinook salmon 
Steelhead trout 
Yellow-billed cuckoo


Birds

     Waterfowl 
     Raptors
     Songbirds

Fish