We’re so happy to share that we’ve welcomed our first two Perdido Key beach mice babies this year! The two male beach mice were born to mom, Malaika, and dad, Gifford. The pups are healthy and doing well!
Our Zoo has had this conservation breeding program since 2007. We are one of two Florida zoos carefully breeding these tiny, critically endangered mice that play a big part in coastal dune ecosystems in Florida and Alabama.
Perdido Key beach mice help spread the seeds of dune-stabilizing plants as well as aerate the soil to encourage the plant growth. This keeps the plants in place – preventing severe erosion. Coastal development, feral cats, rising sea levels and hurricanes all threaten this species. Ahead of 2004’s Hurricane Ivan, wildlife biologists removed 12 mice from Perdido Key State Park in order to protect the species, kicking off conservation breeding for this species.
Our two beach mice pups will stay at our Zoo unless they’re paired with female mice at another facility or sent back to their natural range to help those populations.
This breeding season, we paired 12 individuals for breeding based on recommendations from a geneticist. This ensures a genetically diverse beach mouse population in human care. We continue to monitor our other pairs for babies as well!
Thank you to Surfing’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation, whose generosity makes this critical conservation breeding program possible.
Want to get more information on how we prep our beach mice for their breeding season? Check out Part I and Part II of our 2021 series. We’re thankful to share that our beach mice got some new digs last year as well!
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.