Aplodontia rufa californica

Scientific Name:Aplodontia rufa californica
Common name:Mono Basin mountain beaver
Rank and Status   
Global Rank:G5T3T4 Native Status:Native
Subnational (State) Rank:S1 Endemic:No
US ESA Status:None Sand Dunes:No
NNHP Tracking Status:Do not track Wetland:Yes
Other Agency Status Status Last Updated Status Comments
State of Nevada Protected Sensitive Mammal NAC 503.030.3
Nevada Wildlife Action Plan - 2012 Species of Conservation Priority
Nevada Wildlife Action Plan - 2005 Species of Conservation Priority
CCVI Score Highly Vulnerable Conf. Low; Factors contributing to increased vulnerability are natural barriers, dispersal/movement, physiological thermal niche, physiological hydrological niche, and disturbance.
Distribution (NV Counties)

Status: Predicted or probable

Carson City Washoe
Summary Occurrence Data
Occurrence Count: Not Available
Last Observed: Not Available
Total Observed Area (hectares): Not Available
Maximum Known Elevation (m): Not Available
Minimum Known Elevation (m): Not Available
Aplodontia rufa californica data at NatureServe
Aplodontia rufa californica photos and data at Encyclopedia of Life
Character Abstract
Identification Comments:
Subspecies Comments:
Food Habits:Feeds on a wide variety of vegetation; consumes ferns, forbs, and deciduous plants in summer; conifer foliage in fall/winter if other plants are unavailable (Banfield 1974). Forages mainly above ground (Epple et al. 1993). Requires free surface water or succulent vegetation on a daily basis. Caches grasses and forbs for winter food.
Phenology Comments:
Reproduction Comments:Oval nests are constructed with leaves, twigs and grasses in a chamber that may be about 0.6 m (2 ft) below the surface of the ground. Low rate of reproduction. Monoestrous. Gestation lasts 28-30 days. One litter of 2-4 altricial young born March-April, sometimes as late as early May in north. Young are weaned in about 6-8 weeks. Females sexually mature in about 2 years; yearling females may ovulate but do not breed (see Carraway and Verts 1993). A few live up to 5-6 years.
Migration Mobility:
Habitat Comments:Restricted to moist environments with moderate to dense vegetation. Surveys along the Truckee River and its tributaries (Deer Creek to Verdi) observed mountain beavers most often on reaches with steeper gradients; narrower and shallower streams; higher elevation; a greater abundance of alder, willow, fir, and aspen; and a lesser abundance of cottonwood and yellow pine (<i>Pinus ponderosa</i>, <i>P. jeffreyi</i>, <i>P. washoensis</i>, and hybrids) than unused reaches. Mountain beaver probably choose habitat based on a cool thermal regime, adequate soil drainage, and abundant food supply (Beier 1989).
Ecology comments:Mountain beavers are restricted to moist environments because they have a poor ability to concentrate urine and consequently they require free surface water or succulent vegetation on a daily basis. They are primarily fossorial but can climb trees and swims well (but not arboreal or aquatic). Mountain beavers are active during winter, but remain mostly underground. They are usually solitary but may live in loose colonies. Population density estimates generally range from 4-8 per ha (4-8/2.6 acres), but up to 15-20/ha (15-20/2.6 acres) (see Carraway and Verts 1993). The home range of 10 adults radiotracked for 3-19 months ranged from 0.03 to 0.20 ha (0.07-0.49 acres) (mean 0.12 ha). Juveniles were reported to have moved up to 43 m (141 ft) from the nest (see Carraway and Verts 1993). Significant predators of mountain beavers include coyotes and bobcats.
Version Date:

Not Available