The Stephen's Kangaroo Rat

What is the Stephen's Kangaroo Rat? 

The SKR is an endangered rodent native to Southern California. They make their home on grasslands and coastal sage scrub without too much plant cover. Although it is small at only 2.4 ounces, it plays an important role in its environment. 

Why are they Important?

These rodents are able to promote the growth of native plants and reduce the spread of invasive ones. They do this through their diet of seeds and burrowing. The SKR build complex burrows which increase soil fertility and water infiltration. These rodents also tend to store seeds in their burrow. Not all of these seeds will be eaten, leading to more native plant growth. 

Fun Facts

  1. SKR is named after American zoologist Frank Stephens
  2. They hop around to move and can jump up to six feet 
  3. They are more related to beavers than rats or kangaroos
  4. They can get all the water they need from the seeds they eat