Alabama Beach Mouse

Peromyscus polionotus ammobates
Alabama Beach Mouse

The Alabama beach mouse, an endangered species, lives in coastal dune ecosystems. It’s a small mouse with a buff colored patch on its back and snowy white underbelly. Strictly nocturnal in nature, they have large eyes and big ears to help them as they leave their burrows at dusk and remain active during the night. They are much less active on moonlit nights though to avoid becoming a late night snack for predators. This dune dweller burrows small tunnels in the sand to raise its young and is generally considered to be monogamous.

Feeding primarily on seeds and insects the beach mouse diet includes beetles, leaf hoppers, sea oats, ground cherry, dune spurge, blue stem, evening primrose, beach pea, seaside pennywort and various acorns found in the interior scrub habitat.  

Visitors rarely catch a glimpse of this species but can often see tracks when walking on the boardwalk leading to the beach. Its existence has been threatened by man’s steady development of the coast, as well as habitat loss and fragmentation. Thriving beach mouse populations are an indicator of healthy dune ecosystems which help protect coastal habitats, especially during hurricanes

Facts About Alabama Beach Mouse

Diet: Granivorous, omnivorous; Primarily seasonal seeds and insects

Habitat: Primary and secondary dunes with sea oats, beach grass, other grasses and herbs, as well as interior dune ridges and scrub habitat along the Alabama Gulf Coast

Size: 4-5 inches in length including the tail; 12.5 grams or less than three nickels