New Trip Report: SW Great Basin (USA) Rodent Safari

Here’s a report of Vladimir Dinets’s latest rodent safari in California and Nevada, which saw a bunch of nice rodents.

South West Great Basin, May 2015: An account of a few days near Mono Lake – both in California and Nevada – looking for rodents. Species include Dark Kangaroo Mouse, Panamint and Chisel-toothed Kangaroo Rat and Long-tailed Pocket Mouse.

Jon

0 Comments
  1. Venkat S 2 years ago

    Awesome report! Will have to do one of these soon… Anyway, just had some thoughts on the almost unbelievable Snowshoe Hare activity in the Sierra.

    The mountains in Northwest California (E Humboldt, Trinity, E Del Norte, and Siskiyou counties) have been getting much less snow than normal this year (many roads like the road to S Fork Mountain that are shut most years due to deep snow remained open almost all winter!), and Snowshoe Hares seem to have become abnormally easy to see there too.

    Last June, I saw a Snowshoe Hare just NE of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation near North Trinity Mountain in a wet meadow in the Red Fir zone (found Mountain Beaver burrows here too). Most biologists barely believed me and Mark Higley, the head biologist in Hoopa forestry, said he had seen a handful in about 25 years of working in Hoopa. Interestingly, later that summer, one of my friends in NW CA saw 2 more (both in red fir on S Fork Mountain and Lonesome Ridge) and Mark’s field wildlife technicians (they studies fisher, ringtail, bear, and bobcat) saw several at the same meadow! Seems like this is the time to see the klamathensis subspecies of Snowshoe Hare too…

    I’ll be in NW California next week and will check out new spots for Ringtail, Western Spotted Skunk, Mountain Beaver, Siskiyou and Sonoma Chipmunks, and Long-tailed Weasel; will keep my eyes open for more Snowshoe Hares when I’m in habitat!

    • Profile photo of vdinets
      vdinets 2 years ago

      The real mystery here is that they are supposed to crash in no-snow years, not boom…

      • Venkat S 2 years ago

        Is there anything notably different about these southern subspecies (tahoensis and klamathensis) that explains this trend??

  2. Profile photo of vdinets
    vdinets 2 years ago

    Not that I know of. Lack of predators comes to mind as a possible explanation for the Sierra (they are pretty much absent at the tree line in winter), but that wouldn’t work for NW California – it has plenty of bobcats, coyotes, raptors, owls etc.

    • Profile photo of vdinets
      vdinets 2 years ago

      Interestingly, it’s also a good year for snowshoe hares in Alaska. I saw scores on Dalton Highway in the last few days.

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