First of all thanks for having me. I was really excited to see a group like this. I enjoy all wildlife but my favorite is mammals by far! I bought the field guide to finding mammals as soon as I found out about it. I was thinking of doing some night/early morning exploring at carrizo plain in the next week or so. I would really like to find some kangaroo rats and any other rodents, fox, badger etc. that I can find. I think I read one trip report from here that said that near the nature center is a good place for k-rats. So far the only mammals I have seen at carrizo have been pronghorn, tule elk, jackrabbit, cottontail, and sj antelope squirrel. I would love to see some different things especially k-rats. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for letting me join this site.
Thank you very much for responding vsankar. I am extremely interested in the panoche valley information but due to the fact that I live near Long Beach it might be a while before I can make it out that far. It sounds like a great spot. Is spotlighting holding a flashlight while your driving to look offroad for wildlife? Sorry I am new to looking for stuff nocturnally. I will check out the old carrizo posts also. Wow, you have seen some great stuff.
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Personally, I don’t have much experience in Carrizo but I do know the species you’re interested in very well and have seen all of them many times at other sites (e.g. Panoche Valley). For baseline info on Carrizo, check out the California page on this site which has many trip reports (few very recent ones though).
From what I know, Selby Rocks area is supposed to be decent for Giant Kangaroo Rat. For the other stuff (Heermann’s and San Joaquin Kangaroo Rats, Pocket Mice, etc.), Southern part of Soda Lake Road is apparently best. Kit Fox is common throughout the valley and you should be able to find a couple if you spotlight the length Soda Lake Rd; Badger is uncommon and unpredictable. I don’t know of anyone who has been to Carrizo recently, but maybe somebody here has; people who use this site often find Kit Fox and (rarely) Badger dens there, which would be your best shot at daytime sightings of those species. Carrizo was hit very hard by the extreme drought of the last few years.
I have seen 4 sp. of kangaroo rats, 2 sp. pocket mice, Southern Grasshopper Mouse, Kit Fox, and Badger further north in Panoche Valley, which has been more productive for people over the last couple of years than Carrizo. I know the location of a Kit Fox den that was active as of a month ago, where I saw 2 very curious kits; be prepared for a stakeout. That same day, I saw 40+ kangaroo rats of 4 sp. as well. If you are interested, I’m happy to share that info.