Our Perdido Key beach mice recently moved into a new home and welcomed some additional roommates! These changes come as we continuously look to give all creatures that call the Zoo home the best possible care and welfare.
Our Zoo is one of three Florida zoos breeding this critically endangered species of mice. Earlier this year, a new generation of beach mice were born at our Zoo. Each member of this species acts as a reserve guarding against any threats to the population on Perdido Key. This species is so important to the coastal dune ecosystem in Florida and Alabama that any dip in Perdido Key’s beach mice population could have negative consequences.
Our beach mice were living in a room inside an office building for our conservation staff members. While this space was suitable for their needs, we wanted to move them to a location that was quieter (since they sleep during the day) and hurricane-safe so that they would not have to be moved in the event of a storm.
With the help of our animal care staff, we found the perfect spot connected to our quarantine barn! This barn is dedicated space for new arrivals who undergo a quarantine period before moving into their habitats. It is also next to the area that houses our Florida grasshopper sparrows, another critically endangered native species in need.
“Overall, it’s the quietness, safety from storms and the extra space that enables us to give our mice the best possible habitat,” said Kelly Currier, a conservation coordinator at the Zoo. “This new home gives us the opportunity to let them live their little mouse lives with less interruption.”
Extra space is certainly helpful as seven adult mice were brought to us recently from another institution, which brings our total to 44 mice. This number includes the 20 mice that were born during the 2021-2022 breeding season. We will be receiving a few more mice in the near future.
So, what’s next for our mice? Maintaining our population of mice until the working group develops a plan for future releases, says Kelly.
“Until the next breeding season, we are focusing on creating enrichment and calm habitats for everyone in our care – making things as interesting and ‘dune-like’ as possible.”
The generosity of Surfing’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation makes this critical conservation breeding program possible. Thank you!
Brevard Zoo is an independent, not-for-profit organization that receives no recurring government funding for our operating costs. Your generous support enables us to continue to serve our community and continue our vital animal wellness, education and conservation programs.