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1 September 2015 Ord's Kangaroo Rats in North-Central Kansas: Habitat Associations and Unexpected Locations
Donald W. Kaufman, Glennis A. Kaufman
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During 1976–2003, we trapped small mammals in a wide array of herbaceous and wooded habitats in northeastern Russell Co. and western Lincoln Co., Kansas. Herein, we focus on the distribution and habitat associations including soil association of captures and direct observations of Ord's kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ordii) in this small geographical area of north-central Kansas. In contrast to our expectation that all kangaroo rats would be observed or captured on the sandy soils of flood plains, we also observed and captured them in loamy upland sites as well as areas where both uplands and flood plains were present in the Saline River valley. Most kangaroo rats (n = 43; 1.75 individuals/1,000 trap nights [TN]) were recorded in traps in the Saline River valley during 1985–1986; many fewer (n = 3; 0.04 individuals/1,000 TN) were captured in loamy sites north and outside of the Saline River valley during other years. In the Saline River valley, we captured kangaroo rats in wheat fields, plum-cedar plantings, fallow fields, yellow clover fields and road ditches but not in grazed or ungrazed native prairie, hay fields or planted grass. In contrast, we frequently observed active Ord's kangaroo rats while systematically driving dirt and gravel roads in upland loamy areas immediately north (<5 km) of the Saline River valley, mostly during summer 1977. We seldom observed kangaroo rats even along roads in areas of loamy soils when roads were farther (6–20 km) from the river valley. However, we do report a few observations at these greater distances.

Donald W. Kaufman and Glennis A. Kaufman "Ord's Kangaroo Rats in North-Central Kansas: Habitat Associations and Unexpected Locations," Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 118(3-4), 237-247, (1 September 2015).
Published: 1 September 2015
crop fields
Dipodomys ordii
flood plains
native prairie
relative abundance
soil associations
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