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Peromyscus polionotus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA CRICETIDAE

Scientific Name: Peromyscus polionotus
Species Authority: (Wagner, 1843)
Common Name(s):
English Beach Mouse, Choctawhatchee Beach Mouse, Oldfield Mouse
Taxonomic Notes: The systematics of P. polionotus is in need of critical review (Carleton 1989).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because it is very widespread, locally abundant and there are no major threats to the species overall.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the southeastern United States, from northeastern Mississippi to western South Carolina, south through Alabama and Georgia and to western and most of peninsular Florida (Musser and Carleton, in Wilson and Reeder 1993).
Countries:
Native:
United States (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is considered secure in its range (NatureServe). Population densities of up to six per acre have been recorded (Burt and Grossenheider 1976).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It favours dry sandy fields and beaches with grass/shrub cover; at Merritt Island, Florida, it is usually found among clumps of palmetto and sea grape with expanses of open sand or among dense palmetto-sea grape-wax myrtle. Occupies underground burrows when inactive; entrances in clumps of grass or beneath sheltering vegetation (Matthews and Moseley 1990). Young are born in underground burrows.

It may breed all year. Much breeding activity on the Gulf Coast occurs from November-January. Produces two or more litters per year. Gestation averages 23-24 days (non lactating) or 28-29 days (lactating). Litter size averages 3-4. Young are weaned in about 18 days. Minimum age at conception is five weeks. Apparently monogamous mating system (Kirkland and Layne 1989).

Feeds mainly on grass/weed seeds and insects; also eats blackberries and wild pea. Beach populations eat fruits and seeds of dune plants, especially sea oats and sea rocket; feeds on invertebrates when seeds are scarce (Matthews and Moseley 1990). It is primarily nocturnal.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species overall.

Of the 16 subspecies, eight coastal forms are of conservation concern. P. p. decoloratus is Extinct; P. p. trissyllepsis (Perdido Key beach mouse) is Critically Endangered; P. p. allophrys (Choctawatchee beach mouse), P. p. ammobates (Alabama beach mouse), P. p. peninsularis (St. Andrews beach mouse), and P. p. phasma (Anastasia Island beach mouse) are considered Endangered; and P. p. leucocephalus (Santa Rosa beach mouse) and P. p. niveiventris (Southeastern beach mouse) Near Threatened. All eight subspecies have restricted distributions and are threatened by habitat loss and associated pressures due to tourism and development.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The range of the species includes many protected areas.

Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Peromyscus polionotus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 22 October 2014.
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