Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Neotoma martinensis

San Martín Woodrat

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae


Conservation Status: Extinct.

San Martin Woodrats live on only one small island off the coast of Baja California - if they still exist. Scientists working on the island in the 1990s were not able to trap any, but saw evidence that there might still be some. The island is volcanic and was connected to the mainland during the Pleistocene era. It is covered with rough lava beds and dense scrub vegetation. Leopard seals, sea lions, and birds visit, but there are no native terrestrial predators. So why did the woodrats, which had evolved into a larger species than their mainland relatives, disappear? Fishermen living on the island introduced cats to control them. For a long time it looked like the cats had no impact, but now it appears that they did. San Martin's Woodrat is, or was, medium-sized, with a relatively long tail, creamy-buff colored fur, black hind legs, and pure white feet.

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females

Average: Total Length: 347.5 mm males; 325.2 mm females. Head and body: 193.6 mm males; 175.7 mm females. Ta

Average: 246.5 g males


Goldman, E.A., 1905. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 18:28.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Neotoma martinensis