San Joaquin Antelope Squirrel
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The San Joaquin antelope squirrel is found in the San Joaquin Valley, including slopes and ridge tops along the western edge of the valley. It is endemic to the region, and is found in a much smaller range today than it originally inhabited. Since the San Joaquin Valley fell under heavy agricultural cultivation, habitat loss combined with rodenticide use has reduced the squirrel's numbers enough that it is now listed as a threatened species.
Most of today's remaining San Joaquin antelope squirrels can be found in the Carrizo Plain, where their original habitat remains undisturbed. The squirrels live in small underground familial colonies on sandy, easily excavated grasslands in isolated locations in San Luis Obispo and Kern Counties. Common vegetation associated with the squirrel includes Atriplex and Ephedra, and some junipers. The binomial of this species commemorates the American naturalist Edward William Nelson.