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Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nests
Mammals Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas

Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nest
Desert Woodrats seem to prefer to nest in cracks and caves (such as this little hole) where predators can't dig them out.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nest
They do, however, still armor the entrance, perhaps to discourage snakes from crawling in after them.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nest
In places without caves or cracks, woodrats will pile up stuff to make a fortified nest. In this case, the woodrats used cholla cactus spines.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nest
Close-up of cactus spines. I suspect that this would deter most predators from trying to dig out the woodrat.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nest
Woodrats build this nest in a pile of stones left along a highway after construction.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nest
With all the big stones at the base, this nest looks fairly safe, but there are not cactus spines here.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nest
Woodrats built this nest around the base of a Banana Yucca. They mostly piled sticks around the base of the plant.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nest
Without lots of cactus spines for defense, this woodrat nest was dug up by predators, probably coyotes or kit foxes.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nest
In an unusual example, woodrats built a nest inside the carcass of a cow. I imagine the hide makes for a dry roof and some degree of protection from predators.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nest
Woodrats are nothing if not ingenious. Here a woodrat filled an old tire with sticks and cactus spines. It doesn't like anyone wants to dig into that!
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida)
Close-up of rocks, sticks, and cactus on a nest.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida)
Nest of dead sticks and cactus spines.
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida)
Nest in fork of tree trunks
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida)
Close-up of nest in fork of tree trunks
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida)
Nest of sticks in a sandy wash with ironwood trees
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nests
With only rock and gravel, pile up the gravel!
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida)
Nest in a hole in a rock wall
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida)
Nest in a hole in a rock wall
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida)
Rocks and sticks piled up around and on a boulder
Desert Woodrat (Neotoma lepida) Nests
Nest in the engine of a crashed jet fighter (F-100D)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170828

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