The Neotoma fuscipes lives in a very interesting habitat. Though these animals may be very tiny in size but they make up for it in the space they occupy. To learn more about the size and features of the wood rat visit the form and function page. Their spacious life style can be observed in the area they cover, the homes they build, and the communities they live in.
    The Dusky Footed Wood rat lives in the forest of California. In one of the areas of California, the Wood rat is located in a habitat that is very wet, and their communities are located near an area that has plants like Willows, Elderberries, Gooseberries, and Cow Parsnips grow (Wallen, 1982). Image of habitat location in CaliforniaAccording to the author stated previously, the animals forage for beats in the areas nearby. The wood rat can also be found in the costal and mountainous regions of northern California (M.B. McEachern, et al. 2009). The same authors also stated that the costal and mountainous regions where the wood rats are located can be covered with mixed coniferous forest, juniper woodlands, or oak woodlands. Although the animal lives in diverse areas around California, their habitats have one thing in common the communities are located near small streams (Neotoma fuscipes the dusky footed wood rat, 2000). The Wood rat is very territorial and aggressive toward outsiders. Although they are territorial, they have high interaction with others in their community.
    The interactions can be examined by looking at the lay out of the houses and also the frequency in which certain houses are occupied. The areas in which the homes are built are not in open meadows or chaparral, but rather are found in areas covered with thick underbrush (Wallen, 1982). By staying in the underbrush it helps the wood rat to stay cool and avoid the heat (Neotoma fuscipes, 2000). The houses in the underbrush are densely clustered near each other forming isolated community (Wallen, 1982). The community can range in size from three nest all the way up to fifteen homes (Neotoma fuscipes, 2000). Many of the houses, are used regularly by one animal (Wallen, 1982). Wallen states that these houses are very permanent, meaning most of the animals in the community stay in the same home through their life. Common houses are homes used frequently by these animals. There is no inhabitant but is rather a meeting place for the wood rats within the community. All of the homes are occupied by one individual at a time (Wallen, 1982). Within the community it is the males will travel farther away from their homes than the females (Wallen, 1982). To learn more about the interactions of the wood rat visit both the interactions page and the reproduction page. Within the communities each wood rat’s home is similar in many ways.
    There are many commonalities within the build of the wood rats’ homea wood rats complex home built from sticks.s. The wood rats large and complex homes are made of stick these homes are about five feet high and eight feet in diameter (Wallen, 1982). These homes are built around logs or near trees (Dusky-footed wood rat). The article Dusky-footed Wood rat also states that inside the homes the nest are built out of nibbled on leaves from California bay laurel tree. Scientist believe that the animal uses these leaves to protect themselves from mites, fleas and ticks.

Home                                                                                                                                       Form and Function
Gabriella Tuminello and Emma Conway of the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. Bio 203 - Spring 2014