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Cactus Mouse (Peromyscus eremicus)

Natural History

The Cactus Mouse is a member of the Muridae Family, which includes mice, rats and gerbils. It can be distinguished from other species of mice by its sparsely furred tail with a slight tuft at the tip, and its mostly naked ears and hind foot. Its fur is brownish to cinnamon colored with a white underside. It lives in desert scrubland and grassland areas throughout the Sonoran Desert. They are expert at climbing and can scramble up cacti, cliffs and trees with ease using their long tails for balance.

Cactus Mice need less water than other species of mice. Even so, they may estivate during the summer months to conserve resources.

Cactus Mice are nocturnal, remaining in their underground burrows or beneath rock piles during the day. At night they come out to eat seeds, mesquite beans and leaves, and less frequently, green vegetation and insects. The breeding season extends at least from January to October and possibly throughout the year. Females give birth to litters of 1-4 babies (averaging about 3) and may rear two or more litters per year. They are preyed upon by everything from coyotes and snakes, to hawks and bobcats.

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