Alabama beach mouse peromyscus polionotus ammobates
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Alabama Beach Mouse Peromyscus polionotus ammobates. Perdido Key Beach Mouse Peromyscus polionotus trissyllepsis. Santa Rosa Beach Mouse Peromyscus polionotus leucocephalus. Choctawhatchee Beach Mouse Peromyscus polionotus allophrys. St. Andrew Beach Mouse Peromyscus polionotus peninsularis.

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Alabama Beach Mouse Peromyscus polionotus ammobates

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Alabama Beach MousePeromyscus polionotus ammobates


Perdido Key Beach MousePeromyscus polionotus trissyllepsis


Santa Rosa Beach MousePeromyscus polionotus leucocephalus


Choctawhatchee Beach MousePeromyscus polionotus allophrys


St. Andrew Beach MousePeromyscus polionotus peninsularis


Natural History of Beach MiceGeneral Characteristics

  • Nocturnal, semi-fossorial rodents with big ears and large, black eyes.

  • General size:

    • up to 3” head to base of tail

    • 2” tail length.

  • Weights:

    • 9-14 g adults

    • 20-22 g pregnant females.


Genetic Trait

2 - 8 - 20

1 m

Escape

Tunnel

Sand

Plug


Natural HistoryHabitat Utilization

  • Highest densities found within intact frontal and primary dunes.

  • Frontal/Primaries most dynamic component of Coastal Strand.


Natural HistoryHabitat Utilization

  • Beach mice are typical residents in secondary and scrub dunes.

  • Deep scrub less suitable.

  • Less dynamic, plants less tolerant of salt spray.

  • Recent consideration to elevate to ‘Critical Habitat’ by FWS.

  • Scrub important for refuge/dune restoration.


Natural HistoryReproductive Behavior

  • Monogamous.

  • Reproduction:

    • Mature at 30 days (1st estrus)

    • Gestation - 28 + 3 days

    • Litter size - 3 to 4

  • Life Span:

    • 9 months in wild

    • 2 years not uncommon

    • 5 years in captivity


1300

1247

1000

500

455

Population Estimate

400

321

300

255

200

221

162

100

129

102

43

0

F97

S98

S99

F99

S00

F00

S01

F01

S02

Natural HistoryDemographic Characteristics

6 grids  394,400 m2

Arithmetic Mean = 326 mice

Median = 221 mice

Harmonic Mean = 146 mice


Biological History of Beach Mice

  • Biogeography

  • Subspecies


Recurrent Invasion Hypothesis

Beach Forms

arose from repeated

migration from mainland

5,000 years old


??

Shoreline Tracking Hypothesis

Inland Forms

Beach Forms

200,000 years old


Ocala

Auburn

Baldwin Co.

Baldwin Co.

Baldwin Co.

Choctawhatchee (CIW)

Choctawhatchee (SI)

St. Andrew (CIE)

Choctawhatchee (TS)

Perdido Key

Crestview

St. Andrew (SJ)

Santa Rosa

Alabama

Alabama Beach MousePeromyscus polionotus ammobates

350,000


Reasons for Decline and Listing of Beach Mice

  • Habitat Loss and Fragmentation.

  • Coastal Development.

  • Remaining habitat vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms.

  • Predation (Natural and Introduced)


Reasons for Decline and Listing of Beach Mice

  • Habitat Loss and Fragmentation.

  • Beach Front Development.

  • Remaining habitat vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms.

  • Predation (Natural and Introduced)


Reasons for Decline and Listing of Beach Mice

  • Habitat Loss and Fragmentation.

  • Beach Front Development.

  • Remaining habitat vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical storms.

  • Predation (Natural and Introduced)


Conservation Efforts

  • Re-establishment Examples

    • Grayton Beach

    • Perdido Key

    • St. Andrews


Ocala

Auburn

Baldwin Co.

Baldwin Co.

Baldwin Co.

Choctawhatchee (CIW)

Choctawhatchee (SI)

St. Andrew (CIE)

Choctawhatchee (TS)

Perdido Key

Crestview

St. Andrew (SJ)

Santa Rosa

Alabama

St. Andrew Beach MouseGood Intentions – Bad Actions


J & H

Endangered Species Act (ESA)

Observations

  • Species Recovery Plan

  • Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP)

  • Incidental Take Permits (1982)

  • Critical Habitat

  • Mitigation

  • Compliance / Enforcement

  • Use / Misuse

  • Jeopardy Call


  • ESA – some issues

    • Critical protection provided to Beach Mice

    • Legal regulation and limitations

    • Economics -- land boom ($50,000)

    • Politics -- interpretation issues

    • Agency issues

      • USFWS legacy

      • Career administrators

  • Litigation – every decision


  • Species Recovery Plan

    • Recovery efforts

    • Downlisting criteria

      • 3 populations + 50 % of critical (ABM)

  • Delisting – not expected for BM

  • Update (every 5 years) - stakeholders


  • Incidental Take Permits

    • Section 10 – 1982

    • Harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound,

      kill, trap, capture or collect – prohibited

    • Habitat modifications considered Take

    • Habitat Conservation Plans (HCP)


  • Habitat Conservation Plans

    • Minimize impact

    • Beach mice – large developments focus

    • Range-wide HCP – J & H

      • Overcome piece-meal planning

      • Consistent enforcement

      • Local control – issues

        • Economic pressures override

        • Philosophical issue – National treasure


  • Habitat Conservation Plans

    • Minimize impact

    • Beach mice – large developments focus

    • Range-wide HCP – J & H

      • Overcome piece-meal planning

      • Consistent enforcement

      • Local control – issues

        • Economic pressures override

        • Philosophical issue – National treasure

  • 1994 – NO Surprises Rule - no adaptive

    • Light pollution example


  • Critical Habitat

    • 500 feet above mean high tide + Ft. Morgan


  • Critical Habitat

    • 500 feet above mean high tide + Ft. Morgan

    • J & H – dichotomy of protection

      • difficult to protect outside of zone

  • Our research

    • need to increase area

    • interior habitat essential

    • genetic effective size (Ne) -- larger area


  • Critical Habitat

    • 500 feet above mean high tide + Ft. Morgan

    • J & H – dichotomy of protection

      • difficult to protect outside of zone

  • Our research

    • need to increase area

    • interior habitat essential

    • genetic effective size (Ne) -- larger area


Area = 5,400,000 m2

Running average = 2000

2,700 m2 per mouse

Ne = 500

Ne / Census = 0.25

~ 21.6 km x 250 m (500 m)

13.4 miles


  • Critical Habitat

    • 500 feet above mean high tide + Ft. Morgan

    • J & H – dichotomy of protection

      • difficult to protect outside of zone

  • Our research

    • need to increase area

    • interior habitat essential

    • genetic effective size (Ne) -- larger area

  • 2002 – 2003 = very high density

    • argued to delist


    • Mitigation

      • Interpretation varies widely

        • extortion

        • maximum extent practicable

    • Land swaps ( 4 to 1), land set-aside, money

      • $ 2 million …… and no one home

  • “Games” are common


    • Mitigation Games

      • Set-back lines (Critical Habitat)

      • Habitat protection / restoration


    • Compliance / Enforcement

      • HCP - monitoring - consultants

      • Examples --

        • Non-native plants

        • Cantilevered houses

        • Rentals -- people issues


    • Compliance / Enforcement

      • HCP - monitoring - consultants

      • Examples --

        • Non-native plants

        • Cantilevered houses

        • Rentals -- people issues

          • Boardwalks

          • Dune disturbance

          • Bon Fires – Golf


    • Compliance / Enforcement

      • HCP - monitoring - consultants

      • Examples --

        • Non-native plants

        • Cantilevered houses

        • Rentals -- people issues

          • Boardwalks

          • Dune disturbance

          • Bon Fires – Golf

        • Cat Problem – Perdido Key


    • Image Issues

      • Save a mouse ???  Habitat Preservation

      • Examples of image issues

        • Semi-friends  private vs condos

        • Convenient excuses for other actions

          • Perdido Key

          • FEMA (COBRA) -- Ft. Morgan

    Black Eye Issues


    • Jeopardy Call

      • ABM are in jeopardy

      • Concept of “Proof”

      • Intra-agency battles

      • God Squad (1978)


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