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Southeastern Beach Mouse

Peromyscus polionotus niveiventris

Listing Status

  • Federal Status: Threatened
  • FL Status: Federally-designated Threatened
  • FNAI Ranks: G5T1/S1 (Globally: Demonstrably Secure, Sub sp. Critically Imperiled/State: Critically Imperiled)
  • IUCN Status: Not ranked

Appearance

The Southeastern beach mouse is a subspecies of the small old-field mouse that has a light brown and grayish dorsal (back) side, light brown forehead, and white belly.  Adult males average a length of 5.3 inches (13.5 centimeters) while females have an average length of 5.5 inches (14 centimeters).  Tails are white on top and gray on the bottom.  Females have a 2.2 inch (5.6 centimeters) tail while males have a two inch tail (5.1 centimeters) (Florida Natural Areas Inventory 2001).

Behavior

Southeastern Beach Mouse

The diet of the Southeastern beach mouse primarily consists of dune plant seeds and insects.

Very little information is available about the life history of the Southeastern beach mouse, so information about the beach mouse species (Peromyscus polionotus) is generally accepted as the same.  Breeding peaks during the winter months, but can occur year around if there is adequate food available.  Beach mice are monogamous and will mate with only one partner at a time.  The total gestation period for a beach mouse is 23 days, with the female giving birth to four pups per litter.  Females are also capable of breeding 24-hours after giving birth (Bird et al. 2009).  Pups are weaned 18 days after being born (NatureServe 2011).  Beach mice reach sexual maturity at around 30 days of age (Foust 2002).

Habitat

Southeastern Beach Mouse map

The Southeastern beach mouse inhabits sand dunes along the Florida Atlantic Coast from Volusia south to Martin County.

Threats

Very little information is available about the life history of the Southeastern beach mouse, so information about the beach mouse species (Peromyscus polionotus) is generally accepted as the same.  Breeding peaks during the winter months, but can occur year around if there is adequate food available.  Beach mice are monogamous and will mate with only one partner at a time.  The total gestation period for a beach mouse is 23 days, with the female giving birth to four pups per litter.  Females are also capable of breeding 24-hours after giving birth (Bird et al. 2009).  Pups are weaned 18 days after being born (NatureServe 2011).  Beach mice reach sexual maturity at around 30 days of age (Foust 2002).

Conservation and Management

The Southeastern beach mouse is protected as a Threatened species by the Federal Endangered Species Act and as a Federally-designated Threatened species by Florida’s Endangered and Threatened Species Rule.

Federal Recovery Plan

Learn more about how you can live with and conserve beach mice. 

References

Bird, B. L., Branch, L. C., & Hostetler, M. E. (n.d.). Beach Mice. Retrieved June 2, 2011, from IFAS Extension: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw173.

Florida Natural Areas Inventory.  2001.  Field guide to the rare animals of Florida. http://www.fnai.org/FieldGuide/pdf/Peromyscus_polionotus_niveiventris.PDF.

Foust, D. 2002. "Peromyscus polionotus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed June 2, 2011 http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Peromyscus_polionotus.html.

NatureServe. 2011. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available  http://www.natureserve.org/explorer. (Accessed: August 12, 2011).