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Reestablishment of the Perdido Key Beach Mouse (Peromyscus polionotus trissyllepsis) on Gulf Islands National Seashore
- HOLIER, N.R., MASON, D.W., DAWSON, R.M., SIMONS, T., WOOTEN, M.C.
- Conservation biology 1989 v.3 no.4 pp. 397-404
- DNA fingerprinting, Peromyscus, burrowing, demographic statistics, extinction, gene flow, genetic variation, habitats, islands, mice, models, trapping, viability, Alabama, Florida
- In April 1986, the endangered Perdido Key beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus trissyllepsis) existed only as a small population of less than 30 animals on the western end of Perdido Key at Gulf State Park, Alabama This population was vulnerable to extinction from a variety of causes. Fifteen pairs of mice from Alabama were moved approximately 20 km on the same island to Gulf Islands National Seashore Florida between November 1986 and April 1988. The Alabama population was surveyed by live-trapping before each removal and showed a large increase during this study. Eleven pairs of mice were released into enclosures to stimulate burrowing and reduce dispersal at the release site. The last four pairs w e released unrestricted into the dune habitat Trapping in July 1988 revealed that virtually all available dune habitat (11,000 linear m; approximately 160 ha) had been occupied by the mice. Fifty-five individuals were captured including four of the released mice. Exchanges between the populations are recommended to prevent loss of genetic diversity. Future research should investigate demographics, dispersal pattern, and the application of DNA fingerprinting techniques to determine rates of gene flow in the population. The Perdido Key beach mouse provides an excellent model for studying the effects of a population bottleneck on genetic diversity and testing the predictions of population viability analysis.