The Monterey dusky-footed woodrat (N. f. luciana), a subspecies which occurs in coastal central California, is also considered a California Species of Special Concern.
Unlike the Old World rats, the dusky-footed woodrat is native to North America. From Washington state southward to California, they live in dense vegetation, preferably among oak trees (Quercus spp.). Dusky-footed woodrats have the unusual habit of collecting and accumulating woody debris and most any available small object into piles or nests which serve as living quarters, hence, the name packrat.
A Species of Special Concern (SSC) is a species that is experiencing serious (noncyclical) population declines or range retractions that, if continued could qualify it for State threatened or endangered status.
"Species of Special Concern" is an administrative designation and carries no formal legal status.