Friday, May 1, 2009

Beach Mice (in Florida)

Beach mice, as their name indicates, live on beaches in Florida and Alabama. Beach mice live in the dunes that are located just above the high-tide line (Figure 1). A variety of animals live with beach mice in these dune habitats, including the six-lined racer, monarch butterflies, snowy plovers, and coachwhip snakes. Beach mice occur only in dune habitats. Because they live only in this habitat, they are at high risk of extinction if their habitat is destroyed. Most beach mice are listed as threatened or endangered.

The main threats to beach mice are humans and coastal development. Coastal development -- construction of homes and condominiums -- has caused the destruction of dune habitats. In addition, domestic cats can affect beach mice populations. In the long run, understanding beach mice and current conservation efforts will help the future survival of this species.

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