Tipton kangaroo rat. Image via US FWS.

Tipton kangaroo rat

General Information: The Tipton kangaroo rat is one of three types of San Joaquin kangaroo rat.  San Joaquin kangaroo rats can be distinguished from other kangaroo rats within their range by the presence of four toes on the hind foot; other kangaroo rats have five toes. Tipton kangaroo rats eat seeds, vegetation, and insects.

CategoryFocal species
Surface Water Needs: None
Federal Listing Status: Endangered
State Listing Status: Endangered

Potential Conservation Actions:  

  • Create grazing plans
  • Avoid rodenticide applications
  • Avoid disking

Fun Fact

Tipton kangaroo rats are technically not rats, they are in the same family as mice.


Tipton kangaroo rats live in low-elevation, flat scrublands and grasslands. The dirt must be loose so they can dig burrows. They can tolerate high salinity soils and habitats with some woody shrubs.



Disturbance and Stressors

Urban development, habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive grasses, and heavily tilled agriculture have contributed to the decline of the Tipton kangaroo rat. Rodenticides and prolonged droughts may be another possible cause for decline.

Habitat fragmentation

Urban development


Invasive grasses

Tipton kangaroo rat.
Tipton kangaroo rat. Image via Department of Interior.

Sources: U.S. Fish and Wildlife 1998, 2010, 2020
Photo credits: U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service