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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


Environmental Education:
Wildlife Species 


 

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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