A tiny, mouse-like species on the brink of extinction in the Mojave Desert could be making a comeback after years of intensive habitat restoration and conservation efforts in California.
The Amargosa vole, which has a habitat spanning no more than 247 acres in the diminishing marshes in southeastern Inyo County, was previously considered one of the most endangered mammals in North America. Only about 500 of the whiskered rodents were left in the wild, fighting to survive amid a historic drought and “inconsistent water availability,” a report from UC Davis read in 2017. Two years earlier, the university’s veterinary school launched a captive breeding program as one of its “last-ditch intervention attempts to save the species,” but it feared the efforts would not be enough.
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