Perognathus longimembris pacificus

Logan Hill-Walker 1st period

The pacific pocket mouse

The Pacific Pocket Mouse is one of 19 subspecies of mice in the heteromyid rodent family. ‘Pocket’ refers to their external cheek pockets that the mice use to temporarily store small seeds while foraging. These mice are extremely small with adults weighing only 5-8 grams (about the same as a silver quarter). PPM are historically rare. They were found along coastal southern California. The PPM were practically extinct until rediscovered on Dana Point in 1993. They were officially listed as endangered on September 29, 1994. They were found in three locations (North San Mateo, South San Mateo, and North Santa Margarita). These locations are the only places the PPM are found today.

Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Subkingdom: Bilateria

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Family: Heteromyidae

Genus: Perognathus

Species: Perognathus longimembris

Images of the Pacific Pocket Mouse

Habitat

A Pacific pocket mouse lives approximately seven years in captivity and about three to five years in the wild. They are found in fine-grain or sandy areas that are close to the Pacific Ocean. Their habitat consists of coastal strand, coastal dunes, and coastal sage scrub growing on marine terraces (which are nearly level strips of land with abrupt decents along the ocean). Pacific pocket mice normally stay with their own kind.

Threats to the Pocket Mouse

The Pacific pocket mouse is threatened because of degradation and destruction of their habitat. Their natural home is turned into into agricultural, residential, and recreational places by man. The construction of airports, roads, and railroads destroy their habitat. Another reason why the pocket mice are endangered in California is the introduction of predators, such as cats, into their natural environment. Also, ignorant people trap them for pets, even though they don’t know how to care properly for the PPM in captivity. Pollution, too, puts pressure on the population of pocket mice in California.

Is the Pacific Pocket Mouse important? Yes.

Pocket mice are ecologically important animals. They help by eating small seeds so there's not too many. Their poop makes the soil fertile. They, also, help in the aeration of soil by creating extensive underground burrows. The Pacific pocket mouse is small, indeed, but it has big ecological effect.

Non-profit organizations

1) DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (DOI)


a. They helped the PPM by fixing their habitat.


2) The Endangered Habitats League


a. The Endangered Habitats League (EHL) is Southern California's only regional conservation organization.


b. They focus on endangered species protection in Orange, Riverside, San Diego, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.


c. They make sure regularly that the PPM are still healthy and taken care of.

Food web

This food web shows that Pocket Mice eat grass, seeds, leaves, and nuts which decreases the amount of those items in nature. In turn, Pocket Mice help feed other species including, but not limited to, foxes, coyotes, and hawks. By feeding other species, Pocket Mice do their part in helping to increase the population of those species.