Alabama Beach Mouse (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates)


Alabama beach mouse eating
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The Alabama beach mouse, scientifically known as Peromyscus polionotus ammobates, is a small, nocturnal rodent that belongs to the family Cricetidae. This federally endangered species is uniquely adapted to its coastal habitat, displaying remarkable agility and resourcefulness in navigating the sandy dunes of the Alabama coast.


Alabama beach mouse in Natural Environment
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The Alabama beach mouse is characterized by its pale fur, which provides effective camouflage against the sandy dunes. It has large, dark eyes and relatively large ears, allowing for acute sensory perception. The hind feet are adapted for digging and burrowing, essential for creating complex underground tunnels within the dune ecosystem. These distinctive features set it apart from other species within the Peromyscus genus and contribute to its survival in its specific habitat.


Alabama beach mouse closeup
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The Alabama beach mouse is primarily found along the coastal regions of Alabama, particularly within the dune systems adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. Its distribution is limited to specific areas where suitable dune habitats exist, and its population density is notably concentrated within these coastal regions. The species’ range is restricted, making it particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation.

Habitat Preferences

The Alabama beach mouse thrives in primary, secondary, and scrub dune habitats within the coastal strand community. These ecosystems provide the necessary conditions for the species to forage for food, seek shelter, and reproduce. The dune environment offers protection from predators and supports the intricate burrowing behavior essential for the mouse’s survival. The stability and integrity of these coastal dune ecosystems are critical for the well-being and persistence of the Alabama beach mouse population.

Facts About Alabama beach mouse

  • The Alabama beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus ammobates) is monogamous and mates for life.
  • These mice have a relatively short lifespan, living for an average of 5 to 9 months.
  • Alabama beach mice can reproduce throughout the year, with peak reproductive activity occurring during the fall and spring seasons.
  • They primarily inhabit dune systems along the Gulf Coast of Alabama.
  • Alabama beach mice are primarily active at night and have a diet consisting of various plant seeds and insects.
  • The distribution of Alabama beach mice continues to shrink due to the construction of beach-front developments.
  • The species is listed as endangered and has a very limited range along the dune systems of the Gulf Coast of Alabama.
  • Alabama beach mice burrow and excavate nests in dunes for shelter and protection.
  • They are a subspecies of oldfield mice known as beach mice and are part of the Peromyscus polionotus species.
  • The Alabama beach mouse was listed as endangered on June 6, 1985.

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