Lecture7Cool Deserts6slidesppColor

Lecture7Cool Deserts6slidesppColor - 1/27/2009...

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1/27/2009 1 WFC 50 – Natural History of California’s Wild Vertebrates Douglas A. Kelt Great Basin Desert California deserts Atlas of the Biodiversity of California CDFG 2003 Mojave Desert Sonoran Desert Atlas of the Biodiversity of California CDFG 2003 Cool deserts–lower temps and more ppt, much as snow. In North America, cool deserts are represented by the Great Basin. This range is characterized by a Basin and Range topography, with mountains surrounded by lower valleys valleys. Cold winters with snow. Warm summers, often w/o rain. Basin and Range Topography
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2 So if these pictures represent typical habitat, what critters occur here? Herps Western toad Great Basin spadefoot Pacific treefrog Sagebrush lizard Western whiptail Western skink Western terrestrial garter snake Gopher snake Western rattlesnake Mammals Pygmy rabbit Badger Pronghorn Chisel toothed kangaroo rat Kangaroo mice White tailed jackrabbit Least chipmunk Coyote Bushy tailed woodrat Birds Greater Sage Grouse Sage Thrasher Sage Sparrow Brewer’s Sparrow Gray Flycatcher Ferruginous Hawk Fish Tui chub Eagle Lake rainbow trout Lahontan redside Pupfishes Pygmy rabbit Bushy tailed woodrat Dark kangaroo mouse Least chipmunk Pronghorn White tailed jackrabbit Chisel toothed kangaroo rat Badger Coyote Bushy tailed woodrat ( Neotoma cinerea ) Herbivores. Build nests in rock crevices. These crevices are a limiting resource, and so when one animal dies the crevice system is taken over by another woodrat. Defecate and urinate in latrines, which over much time (thousands of years) become “middens.” Woodrats forage within ca. 100 m of their burrows, and their feces contain bits of plants, including pollen, leaf parts, etc. Most kangaroo rats eat seeds, retrieving these in their cheek pouches and storing them in burrows. Chisel toothed kangaroo rats ( Dipodomys microps ), unlike other kangaroo rats, eat plants. They eat saltbush, which live in very saline environments and hence, rid salt by exuding it onto the surface of leaves (this also turns the leaves whitish/grayish and reflects sunlight). These kangaroo rats actually chew off the surface layers (epidermis) of
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Lecture7Cool Deserts6slidesppColor - 1/27/2009...

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