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Conservation of the Stephens' Kangaroo Rat {Dipodomys stephensi): Planning for Persistence





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ThQ Stephens' kangaroo rat {Dipodomys stephensi. Family Hetero- myidae) is an endangered desert rodent of southern California. The historic range of Z). stephensi has been severely reduced by urban and agricultural development, and remaining habitat is considerably fragmented. We estimated the minimum viable population size ofD. stephensi from a demographic model that incorporated information about survivorship and fecundity in relation to stochastic variation in rainfall. According to the model, a population of 13,210 individuals has a 95% probability of persisting for 100 years. At a density of 10 individuals/ha, this value corresponds to a reserve size of 1321 ha. Based on this estimate and maps of current distribution, land use, and soil type, we suggested nine potential reserve sites and recommended that at least three reserves be estabhshed to secure per- sistence.