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ARTICLE  

Kangaroo rat not seen in over 30 years rediscovered

San Quintin kangaroo rat found by museum researchers in Baja California after not being seen in the last 30 years. The species was last sighted in 1986 and was listed as endangered in 1994 by the Mexican government.



The San Quintin kangaroo rat [...] was held as an example of modern extinction due to agricultural conversion. In the past few decades, San Quintin, which lies 118 miles south of Ensenada, has become a major agricultural hub, converting huge areas of native habitat into fields and hot houses for tomatoes and strawberries.

Having read the field notes of the person who had seen it decades ago, [researchers] were aware of its former occurrence in the area, but were amazed to find four individuals by using traditional field techniques and live traps.

Since the initial discovery, the San Quinton kangaroo rat has been found to also persist inside the Valle Tranquilo Nature Reserve just south of San Quintín [...]

This is the third mammal that was thought to be extinct that museum staff have rediscovered in the Baja California Peninsula in the recent past: others include the high elevation California vole (Microtus californicus huperuthrus) and the round-tail ground squirrel (Xerospermophilus tereticaudus apricus).





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