STATUS: Endangered with critical habitat.|
CRITICAL HABITAT: Springs and marshes on property held by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land management (BLM) near Tecopa are now protected as Areas of Critical environmental Concern. Plus, the agency is negotiating land exchanges with private landowners in hopes of acquiring more of the marshland that does not now have governmental protection.
DESCRIPTION: Timid, mouselike rosents with samll eyes, barely visible ears, short legs, and a short teail. Is cinnamon brown overall, with pale feet and a bicolored tail. Adults measure up to 20 cm long with a 2.5-3.8 cm long tail. They with about 21-56 g.
HABITAT: Bulrush dominated marshes bordering springs or other permanent sources of open water. Many stretches of Amargosa River are seasonally dry, so habitat is limited. 3 elevations of marsh are used: Lower elevation marshes are optimal for the voles but are susceptible to annual flooding. The next highest elevation provides refuge from this annual flooding. The highest elevation is for taking refuge in extended periosds of rainfall.
Present: Found in the Mojave Desert, only within the Amargosa River drainage in Inyo County. Currently only found in the vicinity fo Tecopa hot Springs and Tecopa
THREATS AND/OR REASONS FOR DECLINE: Competition with exotic species introduced to area(house Mouse); invasive exotic plant like tamarisk or salt cedar ahve different requirements for growth than marsh plants and can hinder growth of marsh plants; very susceptible to overgrazing, diversion of water, and draining or buning of marshland.
Historic: RAnged from an area near the town of Shoshone to the upper end fo the Amargosa Canyon near Tecopa.
OTHER INFORMATION: Exact diet is not known but suspected to eat forbs, grasses, seeds, and other similar plantlife. Breed throughout the year and have short reproductive cycles. Population can increase rapidly and consequently experience population increases iver 2 to 4 years.
Life on the Edge. Biosystems Books 1994. Santa Cruz, California