Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Service Completes90-Day Finding on the Texas Kangaroo Rat
Southwest Region, March 8, 2011
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The Arlington Field Office completed a 90-day finding on a petition to list the Texas kangaroo rat as threatened or endangered, which published in the Federal Register on March 8, 2011. The Texas kangaroo rat is a small, brown mammal with a white belly and a long white-tipped tail. It primarily feeds on grass seeds, although it will also eat other seeds, leaves, fruits and flowers.

Historically, the Texas kangaroo rat could be found in 11 Texas counties - Archer, Baylor, Childress, Clay, Cottle, Foard, Hardeman, Montague, Motley, and Wichita, and two Oklahoma counties - Comanche and Cotton. This species inhabits arid rangelands, with short, sparse grasses and require areas of bare ground for dust bathing that are often not available in areas of dense vegetation.

Texas kangaroo rats construct burrows in areas that are not prone to flooding and that contain soils conducive to such activities. The petition presented substantial information that listing this species may be warranted, primarily due to the conversion of native grassland habitat to cultivated cropland. The Service has requested information on the Texas kangaroo rat to aid in the preparation of a 12-month finding.

Contact Info: Tom Cloud, 817-277-1100, tom_cloud@fws.gov
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