|Scientific Name:||Peromyscus gossypinus|
|Species Authority:||(Le Conte, 1853)|
|Taxonomic Notes:||This species has hybridized with P. leucopus under laboratory conditions, but the distinctiveness of this species in the field is well documented (see Musser and Carleton in Wilson and Reeder 1993, 2005).|
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Least Concern ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)|
|Reviewer(s):||Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)|
Listed as Least Concern because it is very widespread, its population is apparently secure except along extreme northern borders of range, there are no major threats throughout its range and it occurs in several protected areas.
|Range Description:||Cotton mice are found in the southeastern United States, from southeastern Virginia (Handley 1991) and Great Dismal and Chowan swamps, North Carolina (Boone and Laerm 1993), to Florida, west to Texas and Oklahoma, and north in the Mississippi Valley to Missouri, Illinois (Feldhamer et al. 1998), and Kentucky.|
Native:United States (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois - Regionally Extinct, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia)
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
|Population:||This species is considered secure in its range (NatureServe). On Key Largo, Florida, the average density was estimated at about 16/ha near housing subdivisions and 27/ha distant from subdivisions (Humphrey 1988). Density has been estimated at about 2-10 per ha in various areas elsewhere in its range, although a density of 97/ha has been reported for Tennessee. In many areas, peak densities occur in fall and/or winter.|
|Habitat and Ecology:||
In most areas, cotton mice prefer bottomland hardwood forests, swamps, and mesic and hydric hammocks but they have also been found in margins of cleared fields, old fields, edges of salt savanna, palmetto thickets bordering beaches, dry hammocks, beach dunes, pine flatwoods, upland timber, mixed pine-hardwood forests, pine-turkey oak, sand pine scrub, along rocky bluffs or ledges, in caves, and in little-used buildings (see Wolfe and Linzey 1977). They are probably most common in areas that periodically are inundated. Cotton mice are terrestrial and arboreal. Large logs and stumps are an important habitat component (McCay 2000). In south-central Florida, daytime refuges were primarily in gopher tortoise burrows, also in ground holes and occasionally in hollow tree cavities (Frank and Layne 1992). Young are born in nests in logs, stumps, moss, under loose bark, under brush, or in old buildings; they prefer elevated nest sites, as much as six metres above ground (see Handley 1991).
Cotton mice breed throughout the year in Florida and Texas, with a decline in summer. They breed March-October in the north. Litter size is 1-7 (average 3-5). Gestation lasts 23 days (non lactating) or 30 days (lactating). Weaning usually occurs by the third or fourth week. Individuals produce up to several litters per year. They sexually mature in 1-2 months. They live usually less than one year, infrequently up to about two years.
Home range is 0.2-0.8 ha in different areas. At least in some areas, this species may exclude Peromyscus leucopus. Cotton mice are very opportunistic feeders, with as much as 3/4 of their diet made up of animal matter. They are nocturnal.
|Major Threat(s):||There are no major threats to this species.|
|Conservation Actions:||It occurs in several protected areas throughout its range.|
|Citation:||Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Peromyscus gossypinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 25 October 2014.|
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