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Overview

Brief Summary

Description

Brush Mice occupy rocky and brushy or forested environments in which rock ledges, piles of brush, fallen trees, and boulders offer shelter and denning sites. Although they are reportedly good climbers, they only occasionally build their nests in tree cavities. Within their enormous range, these Mice are found only at elevations above 2,000 m. They consume many kinds of nuts, seeds, and fruit, including grass seeds, acorns, pine nuts, hackberries, juniper berries, and fir seeds.

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Mammal Species of the World
  • Original description: Baird, S.F., 1855.  Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 7:335.
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Distribution

Range Description

Occurs in mountainous regions over a wide area of western United States, and south into central Mexico, including San Pedro Nolasco Island in the Sea of Cortez. Is it usually found above 2,000 m.
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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Northern California, southern Nevada, northern Utah, southwestern and southeastern Colorado, and western Oklahoma and northern Texas south through California, Arizona, New Mexico, and western Texas to northern Baja California and through the Sierra Madre Occidental and adjacent Mexican Plateau to Queretaro and western Hidalgo (Musser and Carleton, in Wilson and Reeder 2005). Populations in the Sierra Madre Occidental of Durango, eastern Sinaloa, and possibly northern Nayarit are now recgonized as a distinct species, P. schmidlyi (Bradley et al. 2004).

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States or Provinces

(key to state/province abbreviations)
UNITED STATES
AZ CA CO KS NV NM OK TX UT

MEXICO
Ags. B.C.N. Chis. Chih. Coah. Col. Dgo. Edo. Méx. Gto.
Gro. Hgo. Jal. Mex. Mich. Mor. Nay. N.L. Pue.
Qro. S.L.P. Sin. Son. Tlax. Ver. Zac. D.F.

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS [14]:

2 Cascade Mountains

3 Southern Pacific Border

4 Sierra Mountains

5 Columbia Plateau

6 Upper Basin and Range

7 Lower Basin and Range

11 Southern Rocky Mountains

12 Colorado Plateau

13 Rocky Mountain Piedmont
  • 14. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]

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The brush mouse can be found from northern California, to eastern Colorado and western Texas, and south to Baja California and southern Mexico [115].
  • 115. Wilson, Don E.; Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. 2005. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. 3rd ed. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press. 2142 p. [60623]

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Geographic Range

Peromyscus boylii is found in mountainous regions from northern California and western Nevada, eastward to western Texas and Oklahoma, and southward to central Mexico (Hall 1981, Bradley and Schmidly 1999).

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Peromyscus boylii is a medium-sized Peromyscus. No significant sexual dimorphism is evident. The tail is usually longer than the head and body, bicolored (dark gray above and white below), well haired, and tufted at the end. The hind foot is small and similar in length to the ear but sometimes longer. Skull is medium-sized and auditory bullae are not greatly inflated. Upperparts of pelage are medium brown; sides lighter brown with a broad orange lateral line extending from cheek to hindquarters; underparts whitish; ankles dusky gray; and feet whitish below ankle (Hoffmeister 1986, Schmidly et al. 1988, Bradley and Schmidly 1999). The mean and ranges (mm) of the following four external characters are taken from Schmidly et al. (1988): total length, 194.3 (175-210); length of tail, 103.6 (89-115); length of hind foot, 20.1 (19-22); and length of ear, 19.0 (18-21).

Peromyscus boylii may be confused with P. attwateri, P. crinitus, P. difficilis, P. leucopus, P. maniculatus, P. pectoralis, and P. truei. These species are similar in general appearance and have distributions that overlap with P. boylii. However, a few external characters may help distinguish P. boylii from these species (Hoffmeister 1986, Bradley and Schmidly 1999). Peromyscus boylii differs from P. attwateri in having a larger hind foot. A longer tail in relation to head and body length and larger overall size differentiates P. boylii from P. crinitus, P. leucopus, and P. maniculatus. Peromyscus boylii differs from P. difficilis and P. truei in having shorter ears and smaller hind feet. Darker ankles rather than white differentiates P. boylii from P. pectoralis. Several closely related species found in Mexico (P. aztecus, P. beatae, P. levipes, P. simulus, and P. spicilegus) are exceedingly difficult to distinguish from one another (Bradley and Schmidly 1999). They were all previously considered part of P. boylii, but are now considered separate species based on molecular differences.

Range mass: 22 to 36 g.

Range length: 175 to 210 mm.

Average length: 194 mm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; heterothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

  • Schmidly, D., R. Bradley, P. Cato. 1988. Morphometric differentiation and taxonomy of three chromosomally characterized groups of *Peromyscus boylii* from east-central Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy, 69: 462-480.
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Size

Length: 24 cm

Weight: 36 grams

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Size in North America

Sexual Dimorphism: None

Length:
Average: 194 mm
Range: 175-210 mm

Weight:
Range: 22-36 g
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Habitats vary from desert to montane forest, but restricted to locations where there are rock outcroppings, boulders, brush piles, and fallen trees. Usually places nest in natural cavities, rocky crevices, or under brushpiles.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Comments: Rough, rocky canyons of coniferous brush. Also in open pine forests, riparian zones, oak woodland, scrub oak on flats and steep slopes, juniper woodland, around buildings, in caves and mine shafts. Usually rocks and heavy brush are present. Usually places nest in natural cavity, rocky crevice, or under brushpile.

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Cover Requirements

More info for the terms: association, cover, density, hardwood, natural, shrub, tree

No significant differences in habitat use between genders were observed in Arizona [43]. Typical brush mouse habitat in southern Arizona was characterized by 74% tree cover, 60% leaf cover, 21% shrub cover, and 16% rock cover. Additionally, 67% of all brush mice relocated by radiotelemetry in the study were located in a riparian zone with the other observations occurring in uplands and an intermittent stream channel. Brush mice used sites with significantly (P<0.05) more rock cover (19% to 22%) during winter and spring than at other times of the year. Also in spring, plots with the most brush mice also had significantly (P<0.05) more shrub cover (21% vs.14%) and succulents (9% vs. 2%) than random plots [43].

In a New Mexico study, 27% of brush mice captured were taken around rocky areas, 10% under Gambel oak (Q. gambelii), 9% under juniper, and 7% each around woodpiles and sacahuista [114]. Less frequently, brush mice were taken under or around pinyon pine, gray oak (Q. grisea), apache plume, rabbitbrush, mountain-mahogany, white fir (Abies concolor), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), locust (Robinia spp.), prickly-pear, cholla (Opuntia spp.), chokecherry (Prunus spp.), bricklebush (Brickellia spp.), and grape (Vitis spp.) [114].

In southern California, brush mice were captured on leaf mold in an oak hardwood association of coast live oak, white alder (Alnus rhombifolia), whiteflower currant, and sumac (Rhus spp.) [110]. They were also trapped under logs and dense vegetation and on wet seepage slopes next to a creek [110]. In coastal California, brush mice were captured primarily under coast live oak, false-willow (Baccharis douglasii), California buckeye, and California bay [58].

Fallen logs and rock outcrops provide nest sites for the brush mouse [17]. They may also construct nests in tree hollows and underground burrows [113]. Brush mice living in mine shafts or caves build nests similar to those of goldfinches [48]. Davis [26] noted that the brush mouse nest is a "globular structure" and is constructed primarily of dried grasses within natural cavities. Brush mouse nest sites in California were found on sites with a high density coast live oak (Q. agrifolia) overstory and an open understory with low vegetation and ground cover [57].

  • 17. Bradley, R. D.; Schmidly, D. J. 1999. Brush mouse: Peromyscus boylii. In: Wilson, Don E.; Ruff, Sue, eds. The Smithsonian book of North American mammals. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press: 564-565. [60379]
  • 26. Davis, William B. 1974. Brush mouse: Peromyscus boylii (Baird). In: The mammals of Texas. Bull. No. 41. Austin, TX: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: 205-206. [60375]
  • 43. Gottesman, Amy B.; Morrison, Michael L.; Krausman, Paul R. 2004. Habitat use by brush mice (Peromyscus boylii) in southeastern Arizona. Western North American Naturalist. 64(2): 259-264. [60291]
  • 48. Hoffmeister, Donald F. 1986. Peromyscus boylii--brush mouse. In: Mammals of Arizona. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press; Arizona Game and Fish Department: 364-369. [60286]
  • 57. Kalcounis-Ruppell, Matina C. 2000. Breeding systems, habitat overlap, and activity patterns of monogamous and promiscuous mating in Peromyscus californicus and P. boylii. London, ON: University of Western Ontario. 177 p. Dissertation. [60408]
  • 58. Kalcounis-Ruppell, Matina C.; Millar, John S. 2002. Partitioning of space, food, and time by syntopic Peromyscus boylii and P. californicus. Journal of Mammalogy. 83(2): 614-625. [60567]
  • 110. Vaughan, Terry A. 1954. Mammals of the San Gabriel Mountains of California. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas. 7(9): 513-582. [60582]
  • 113. Williams, Daniel F.; Verner, Jared; Sakal, Howard F.; Waters, Jeffrey R. 1992. General biology of major prey species of the California spotted owl. In: Verner, Jared; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Noon, Barry R.; Gutierrez, R. J.; Gould, Gordon I., Jr.; Beck, Thomas W., tech. coords. The California spotted owl: a technical assessment of its current status. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-133. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 207-221. [28203]
  • 114. Wilson, Don E. 1968. Ecological distribution of the genus Peromyscus. The Southwestern Naturalist. 13(3): 267-274. [60288]

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Preferred Habitat

More info for the terms: association, cover, density, frequency, litter, presence, shrub, shrubs, tree

Vegetation in brush mouse habitats may vary from location to location, but brush mice are consistently captured in areas with medium to high densities of shrubs and tree cover under 16 feet (5 m) in height [2,25,31,36,48,49,73,75,82,103,111,114]. In California, mature chaparral (cover ≥50%) appears to provide more suitable habitat for brush mice than young, open chaparral (cover <50%) [82]. Similarly, in Arizona, Duran [31] captured brush mice most frequently in shrub live oak and birchleaf mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides) understory habitats with 45% to 50% plant cover. Fewer brush mice were captured in habitats with less plant cover [31]. Holbrook [50] observed that after vegetation crowns were removed in a manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.)-oak shrubland, brush mice avoided the newly-opened space. In another study, brush mice were strongly restricted to habitats in which gaps between rocks or ceanothus (Ceanothus spp.) on the site were less than 4 feet (1.2 m) [81].

In addition to shrub density, the height of cover appears to influence brush mouse distribution within a site. An average understory height of 5-6.5 feet (1.5-2.0 m) was preferred by brush mice over lower understory cover [97]. In another study, brush mouse presence was positively correlated with microhabitats of shrub cover up to 10 feet (3 m) tall, logs over 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, and understory trees 10-33 feet (3-10 m) in height, but negatively correlated with grass-forb microhabitats [16].

Brush mice are also commonly captured at locations with a high proportion of rock cover and/or slash piles in habitats characterized by chaparral-mountain shrub, oak/shrub, oak-juniper-pinyon pine, juniper-pinyon pine, and oak-pine communities, as well as riparian habitats [1,2,25,27,30,36,38,40,41,48,49,50,51,66,73,103,110,111,114]. The brush mouse in Texas has been found in all major habitats present (desert, grassland, riparian, and montane) although it is typically associated with rock outcrops within these habitats [25]. Riparian sites with abundant brush mouse populations had high shrub cover, high frequency of debris piles with low grass, litter, and tree cover [32]. In a Mexico study, a canyon was dominated by exposed rock, grasses, pines, hardwoods, and brush [30]. In western Texas, brush mice favored fallen logs and brush piles [26]. Modi [71] discovered that brush mice were common in riparian zones dominated by pecan (Carya illinoensis), American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and live oak (Quercus virginiana), in an oak community with a partially open canopy and dense understory, and in a pine forest with little understory and scattered boulders. In New Mexico, brush mouse populations were significantly higher (P<0.05) on sites that were bulldozed or thinned (98 and 115 captures, respectively) than untreated or bulldozed and burned sites [95]. Populations were lowest on sites that had not been treated (45 captures). Sites that had increased slash from bulldozing and burning had more brush mice (57 captures) than the untreated sites, but the difference was not significant (P>0.05). No influence of canopy cover on brush mice was observed in the study [95].

Besides high tree, shrub, and rock densities, brush mice appear to prefer locations with low grass cover [32,81]. At the same time, grasses are often present in the understory indicating that grasses do not exclude brush mice [25,40]. Brush mice utilized grazed and ungrazed pastures and ceanothus plots [81], but they were concentrated around rocky outcrops and vegetation continuous with the rock outcrops. No brush mice were captured in the grasslands more than 20 feet (6 m) from rocks, shrubs, or trees [81]. Litter depth also appears negatively correlated to brush mouse presence [97,111]. For instance, brush mice in Arizona were captured in litter depths of only 0.9 inches (2.4 cm) [111].

Brush mice also utilize fire-affected habitats. In one study, brush mice were captured in burned and unburned chaparral as well as burned and unburned pine-oak forest. The highest number of captures were recorded in unburned forest while the lowest captures occurred in the unburned chaparral [73]. These results are somewhat inconsistent with other observations which show the brush mouse favoring dense chaparral habitat. Small mammal capture data in the study were collected from 14 months to 3 years after fire [73]. The time frame of sampling after fire may influence the perceived response of the brush mouse to postfire habitats.

Elevation, in addition to habitat characteristics, may play a role in habitat suitability in some areas. For instance, in the northern Sierra Nevada of California, brush mice were captured in brush habitats at 3,500-5,000 feet (1,000-1,500 m), but not at 6,500 feet (2,000 m) [53]. Aspect may influence the distribution of brush mice on a site as well. For example, in New Mexico, 51% of all brush mice captured were taken on south-facing slopes, 24% on west-facing slopes, with 13% and 12% of mice captured on east- and north-facing slopes, respectively [114]. The south-facing canyon slopes may provide more cover for brush mice due to higher numbers of shrubs [114].

Site characteristics of brush mouse habitat:

State/Region Elevation Slope/Aspect Precipitation Citation
Arizona 1,000-1,500 feet (300-450 m), 2,300-8,300 feet (700-2,500 m) canyon and valley bottoms, canyon and talus slopes, rolling hills, level uplands, east and south aspects 15.5-28 inches (393-710 mm) [16,18,21,31,34,41,42,43,50,73,74,85,86]
California 1,500-6,600 feet (450-2,000 m), rare up to 9,800 feet (3,000 m) canyon bottoms, north slopes favored, but found on all aspects, brushy hillsides 10-44 inches (260-1110 mm) [18,53,54,56,57,97,110]
Colorado up to 8,300 feet (2,500 m) hill slopes and valleys no data [1,103]
New Mexico 5,200-8,000 feet (1,585-2,400 m), rare at 8,600 ft (2,600 m) south aspects often preferred, but all aspects utilized, low ridges and slopes, north aspects on hot arid sites, gradual slopes 12.5-18 inches (317-460 mm) [18,35,36,114]
Utah 3,750-7,005 feet (1,150-2,135 m) canyons and mesas 7.5 inches (191 mm) [2,66]
Texas 4,250-7,970 feet (1,295-2,430 m) south aspects, level plain no data [25,26,27,38,71,91]

Although brush mice are found on a variety of slopes, including flat mesas and gradual slopes, they seem to prefer locations with very steep slopes, such as hillsides, mountain sides, and canyons (including some slopes with >45% gradient) over more gradual slopes in the same areas [1,30,40,41,73,97,101,111]. Findley [35] reported that brush mice were captured on hillsides in an oak/sacahuista (Nolina spp.) community. In another study, brush mice were common in canyon bottoms, on hillsides, and in arroyos (water channels in arid regions) characterized by oak woodlands [36]. Brush mice have also been captured along the sides of brush covered canyons and burned slopes of an oak/brush association [114].

Density and Home Range
Kalcounis-Ruppell [57] discovered brush mouse population densities were 40-72 mice per hectare in coastal California. Similarly, Kalcounis-Ruppell and Millar [58] determined that densities of brush mice in coastal California were 42-89 mice per hectare. Brush mouse densities appear greatly influenced by weather. Densities were 17-20 per acre one year, but were reduced to 6 mice per acre following a severe winter [41]. At another study site, brush mice increased from 4 individuals per acre to 12 per acre after a mild winter [41]. Populations in a canyon in Mexico were estimated at a mean of 10.8 brush mice per acre or 6.0 males and 4.8 females per acre [30]. The range was 9.0-14.0 brush mice per acre [30].

A study utilizing radiotelemetry and trapping data in Arizona estimated mean home range size for male brush mice at 0.72-1.6 acres (0.29-0.64 hectare), and 0.32-0.79 acre (0.13-0.32 hectare) for females [86]. In a another study at the same location, home ranges for male brush mice ranged from means of 1.2-1.5 acres (0.47-0.62 hectare) and for females, means of 0.64-1.2 acres (0.26-0.49 hectare) [85]. Mean home range for male and female brush mice in Arizona, based on radiotelemetry, was 0.30 acre (0.12 hectare) [42].

  • 1. Armstrong, David M. 1972. Peromyscus boylii: brush mouse. In: Distribution of mammals in Colorado. Monograph No. 3. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas, Museum of Natural History: 208-209. [60590]
  • 2. Armstrong, David M. 1979. Ecological distribution of rodents in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. Great Basin Naturalist. 39(2): 199-205. [60293]
  • 16. Boyett, William D. 2001. Habitat relations of rodents in the Hualapai Mountains of northwestern Arizona. Oshkosh, WI: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. 75 p. Thesis. [60401]
  • 18. Brown, David E., ed. 1982. Biotic communities of the American Southwest--United States and Mexico. Desert Plants: Special Issue. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press. 4(1-4): 1-342. [62041]
  • 21. Cahalane, Victor H. 1941. A trap-removal census study of small mammals. Journal of Wildlife Management. 5(1): 42-67. [60588]
  • 25. Cornely, John E.; Schmidly, David J.; Genoways, Hugh H.; Baker, Robert J. 1981. Mice of the genus Peromyscus in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. Occasional Papers No. 74. Lubbock, TX: Museum Texas Tech University. 35 p. [60297]
  • 26. Davis, William B. 1974. Brush mouse: Peromyscus boylii (Baird). In: The mammals of Texas. Bull. No. 41. Austin, TX: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: 205-206. [60375]
  • 27. Denyes, H. Arliss. 1956. Natural terrestrial communities of Brewster County, Texas. The American Midland Naturalist. 55(2): 289-320. [26765]
  • 30. Drake, James J. 1958. The brush mouse Peromyscus boylii in southern Durango. Michigan State University Museum Publications: Biological Series. 1(3): 97-132. [60387]
  • 31. Duran, John C. 1973. Field investigations and energy determinations of stomach contents of Peromyscus boylii in the Granite Basin area, Yavapai County, Arizona. Greeley, CO: University of Northern Colorado. 62 p. Dissertation. [60406]
  • 32. Ellison, Laura E.; van Riper, Charles, III. 1998. A comparison of small-mammals communities in a desert riparian floodplain. Journal of Mammalogy. 79(3): 972-985. [60580]
  • 34. Fargo, Roberta J.; Laudenslayer, William R., Jr. 1995. Morphological differences between two white-footed mice, Peromyscus boylii and Peromyscus californicus, in oak woodlands of Fresno County, California. Transactions of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society. 31: 58-62. [60311]
  • 35. Findley, James S. 1987. Deer mice: Peromyscus. In: The natural history of New Mexican mammals. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press: 91-94. [60879]
  • 36. Findley, James S.; Harris, Arthur H.; Wilson, Don E.; Jones, Clyde. 1975. Peromyscus boylii (Baird): brush mouse. In: Mammals of New Mexico. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press: 214-218. [60881]
  • 38. Garner, Herschel W. 1967. An ecological study of the brush mouse, Peromyscus boylii, in western Texas. The Texas Journal of Science. 19(3): 285-291. [60587]
  • 40. Geluso, Kenneth N. 1971. Habitat distribution of Peromyscus in the Black Mesa region of Oklahoma. Journal of Mammalogy. 52(3): 605-607. [60312]
  • 41. Goodwin, John Gravatt, Jr. 1975. Population densities and food selection of small rodents in Arizona ponderosa pine forests. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona. 72 p. Thesis. [60403]
  • 42. Gottesman, Amy B.; Krausman, Paul R.; Morrison, Michael L.; Petryszyn, Yar. 2004. Movements and home range of brush mice. The Southwestern Naturalist. 49(2): 289-294. [60569]
  • 43. Gottesman, Amy B.; Morrison, Michael L.; Krausman, Paul R. 2004. Habitat use by brush mice (Peromyscus boylii) in southeastern Arizona. Western North American Naturalist. 64(2): 259-264. [60291]
  • 48. Hoffmeister, Donald F. 1986. Peromyscus boylii--brush mouse. In: Mammals of Arizona. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press; Arizona Game and Fish Department: 364-369. [60286]
  • 49. Holbrook, Sally J. 1978. Habitat relationships and coexistence of four sympatric species of Peromyscus in northwestern New Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy. 59(1): 18-26. [60568]
  • 50. Holbrook, Sally J. 1979. Habitat utilization, competitive interactions, and coexistence of three species of Cricetine rodents in east-central Arizona. Ecology. 60(4): 758-769. [60564]
  • 51. Holbrook, Sally J. 1979. Vegetational affinities, arboreal activity, and coexistence of three species of rodents. Journal of Mammalogy. 60(3): 528-542. [60289]
  • 53. Jameson, E. W., Jr. 1951. Local distribution of white-footed mice, Peromyscus maniculatus and P. boylei, in the northern Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Mammalogy. 32(2): 197-203. [25538]
  • 54. Jameson, E. W., Jr. 1952. Food of deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus and P. boylei, in the northern Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Mammalogy. 33(1): 50-60. [21605]
  • 56. Jameson, E. W., Jr.; Peeters, Hans J. 1988. Brush mouse (Peromyscus boylii). In: California mammals. California Natural History Guides: 52. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 301-302, 376. [60592]
  • 57. Kalcounis-Ruppell, Matina C. 2000. Breeding systems, habitat overlap, and activity patterns of monogamous and promiscuous mating in Peromyscus californicus and P. boylii. London, ON: University of Western Ontario. 177 p. Dissertation. [60408]
  • 58. Kalcounis-Ruppell, Matina C.; Millar, John S. 2002. Partitioning of space, food, and time by syntopic Peromyscus boylii and P. californicus. Journal of Mammalogy. 83(2): 614-625. [60567]
  • 66. Long, W. S. 1940. Notes on the life histories of some Utah mammals. Journal of Mammalogy. 21(2): 170-180. [60002]
  • 71. Modi, Stephen William. 1978. Morphological discrimination, habitat preferences, and size relationships of Peromyscus pectoralis and Peromyscus boylii from areas of sympatry in northern Mexico and western Texas. College Station, TX: Texas A & M University. 44 p. Thesis. [60404]
  • 73. Monroe, Lindsey M.; Cunningham, Stanley C.; Kirkendall, Lari Beth. 2004. Small mammal community responses to a wildfire on a central Arizona sky island. Journal of the Arizona Nevada Academy of Science. 37(2): 56-61. [60319]
  • 74. Morrison, Michael L.; Kuenzi, Amy J.; Brown, Coleen F.; Swann, Don E. 2002. Habitat use and abundance trends of rodents in southeastern Arizona. The Southwestern Naturalist. 47(4): 519-526. [60586]
  • 75. Morrison, Michael L.; Scott, Thomas A.; Tennant, Tracy. 1994. Wildlife-habitat restoration in an urban park in southern California. Restoration Ecology. 2(1): 17-30. [60292]
  • 81. Quast, Jay C. 1954. Rodent habitat preferences on foothill pastures in California. Journal of Mammalogy. 35(4): 515-521. [60566]
  • 82. Quinn, Ronald D. 1990. Habitat preferences and distribution of mammals in California chaparral. Res. Pap. PSW-202. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 11 p. [15761]
  • 85. Ribble, David O.; Stanley, Sherri. 1998. Home ranges and social organization of syntopic Peromyscus boylii and P. truei. Journal of Mammalogy. 79(3): 932-941. [60581]
  • 86. Ribble, David O.; Wurtz, Amy E.; McConnell, Elizabeth K.; Buegge, Jeremy J.; Welch, Kenneth C., Jr. 2002. A comparison of home ranges of two species of Peromyscus using trapping and radiotelemetry data. Journal of Mammalogy. 83(1): 260-266. [60300]
  • 91. Schmidly, David J. 1977. The mammals of Trans-Pecos Texas: including Big Bend National Park and Guadalupe Mountains National Park. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University. 225 p. [25546]
  • 95. Severson, Kieth E. 1986. Small mammals in modified pinyon-juniper woodlands, New Mexico. Journal of Range Management. 39(1): 31-34. [2107]
  • 97. Slayden, O. V. Daniel. 1984. Spatial segregation in three sympatric species of Peromyscus from the north Coast Range of California. Sonoma, CA: Sonoma State University. 107 p. Thesis. [60402]
  • 101. Sureda, Maite; Morrison, Michael L. 1999. Habitat characteristics of small mammals in southeastern Utah. Great Basin Naturalist. 59(4): 323-330. [60585]
  • 103. Svoboda, Peggy L.; Tolliver, Deanna K.; Choate, Jerry R. 1988. Peromyscus boylii in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. The Southwestern Naturalist. 33(2): 239-240. [60589]
  • 110. Vaughan, Terry A. 1954. Mammals of the San Gabriel Mountains of California. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas. 7(9): 513-582. [60582]
  • 111. Ward, James P., Jr.; Block, William M. 1995. Mexican spotted owl prey ecology. In: Block, William M.; Clemente, Fernando; Cully, Jack F.; Dick, James L., Jr.; Franklin, Alan B.; Ganey, Joseph L.; Howe, Frank P.; Moir, W. H.; Spangle, Steven L.; Rinkevich, Sarah E.; Urban, Dean L.; Vahle, Robert; Ward, James P., Jr.; White, Gary C. Recovery plan for the Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida). Vol. 2. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service: 1-48. [60368]
  • 114. Wilson, Don E. 1968. Ecological distribution of the genus Peromyscus. The Southwestern Naturalist. 13(3): 267-274. [60288]

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Habitat: Cover Types

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

More info for the term: cover

SAF COVER TYPES [33]:

67 Mohrs (shin) oak

68 Mesquite

205 Mountain hemlock

206 Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir

207 Red fir

208 Whitebark pine

209 Bristlecone pine

210 Interior Douglas-fir

211 White fir

212 Western larch

216 Blue spruce
218 Lodgepole pine

219 Limber pine

220 Rocky Mountain juniper

221 Red alder

222 Black cottonwood-willow

224 Western hemlock

227 Western redcedar-western hemlock

228 Western redcedar

229 Pacific Douglas-fir

230 Douglas-fir-western hemlock

231 Port-Orford-cedar

233 Oregon white oak

234 Douglas-fir-tanoak-Pacific madrone

235 Cottonwood-willow

237 Interior ponderosa pine

238 Western juniper

239 Pinyon-juniper

240 Arizona cypress

241 Western live oak

242 Mesquite

243 Sierra Nevada mixed conifer

244 Pacific ponderosa pine-Douglas-fir

245 Pacific ponderosa pine

246 California black oak

247 Jeffrey pine

248 Knobcone pine

249 Canyon live oak

250 Blue oak-foothills pine

256 California mixed subalpine
  • 33. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]

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Habitat: Plant Associations

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the term: shrub

KUCHLER [61] PLANT ASSOCIATIONS:

K002 Cedar-hemlock-Douglas-fir forest

K003 Silver fir-Douglas-fir forest

K004 Fir-hemlock forest

K005 Mixed conifer forest

K007 Red fir forest

K008 Lodgepole pine-subalpine forest

K010 Ponderosa shrub forest

K012 Douglas-fir forest

K015 Western spruce-fir forest

K018 Pine-Douglas-fir forest

K019 Arizona pine forest

K020 Spruce-fir-Douglas-fir forest

K021 Southwestern spruce-fir forest

K022 Bristlecone Pine

K023 Juniper-pinyon woodland

K024 Juniper steppe woodland

K025 Alder-ash forest

K026 Oregon oakwoods

K027 Mesquite bosques

K028 Mosaic of K002 and K026

K029 California mixed evergreen forest

K030 California oakwoods

K031 Oak-juniper woodland

K032 Transition between K031 and K037

K033 Chaparral

K034 Montane chaparral

K035 Coastal sagebrush

K036 Mosaic of K030 and K035

K037 Mountain-mahogany-oak scrub

K038 Great Basin sagebrush

K039 Blackbrush

K040 Saltbush-greasewood

K041 Creosote bush

K044 Creosote bush-tarbush

K053 Grama-galleta steppe

K054 Grama-tobosa prairie

K055 Sagebrush steppe

K057 Galleta-threeawn shrubsteppe

K058 Grama-tobosa shrubsteppe

K059 Trans-Pecos shrub savanna

K065 Grama-buffalo grass

K071 Shinnery
  • 61. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. United States [Potential natural vegetation of the conterminous United States]. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 1:3,168,000; colored. [3455]

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Habitat: Ecosystem

More info on this topic.

This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

ECOSYSTEMS [39]:

FRES20 Douglas-fir

FRES21 Ponderosa pine

FRES23 Fir-spruce

FRES26 Lodgepole pine

FRES28 Western hardwoods

FRES29 Sagebrush

FRES30 Desert shrub

FRES31 Shinnery

FRES33 Southwestern shrubsteppe

FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub

FRES35 Pinyon-juniper

FRES38 Plains grasslands

FRES40 Desert grasslands

FRES44 Alpine
  • 39. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; Lewis, Mont E.; Smith, Dixie R. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]

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Peromyscus boylii generally occurs at elevations over 2,000 m where it inhabits chaparral, pinyon-juniper woodlands, and pine-oak forests (Baker 1968, Findley et al. 1975, Hoffmeister 1986). On a more local scale within these vegetation communities, P. boylii is most commonly associated with rocky and dense shrub covered areas (Wilson 1968, Holbrook 1978, Boyett 2001). Shrub cover, rock cover, and logs are important habitat components that provide nesting sites and refuge from weather and predators (Bradley and Schmidly 1999).

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: chaparral ; forest ; scrub forest ; mountains

  • Boyett, W. 2001. Habitat relations of rodents in the Hualapai Mountains of northwestern Arizona. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh: Unpublished M.S. thesis.
  • Findley, J., A. Harris, D. Wilson, C. Jones. 1975. Mammals of New Mexico. Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico Press.
  • Hoffmeister, D. 1986. Mammals of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona: Arizona Game and Fish Department and University of Arizona Press.
  • Holbrook, S. 1978. Habitat relationships and coexistence of four sympatric species of *Peromyscus* in northwestern New Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy, 59: 18-26.
  • Wilson, D. 1968. Ecological distribution of the genus *Peromyscus*. Southwestern Naturalist, 13: 267-274.
  • Baker, R. 1968. Habitats and distribution. Pp. 98-126 in J King, ed. Biology of *Peromyscus* (Rodentia). Special Publication Number 8: American Society of Mammalogists.
  • Bradley, R., D. Schmidly. 1999. Brush mouse / *Peromyscus boylii*. Pp. 564-565 in D Wilson, S Ruff, eds. The Smithsonian book of North American mammals. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press.
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Migration

Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

In southeastern Arizona, radio-tagged brush mice, on average, moved 17.7 m between consecutive locations (at least 3 hr apart); annually, the average size of home range areas was 0.12 ha (Gottesman et al. 2004). Juveniles and subadults were not studied, so dispersal distances were not determined.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Diet consists of a variety of plant items, including pine nuts, acorns, berries (e.g., manzanita, juniper), and insects and other arthropods (may comprise a large portion of the diet). Often climbs into vegetation to feed.

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Food Habits

More info for the term: shrubs

Brush mice are semiarboreal and can be found foraging in shrubs and trees for leaves and fruits [35,49,51,56]. Females were captured more often than males foraging in canyon live oaks (Q. chrysolepis) (P<0.05) [69]. The individuals with the longest tails appear to spend more time climbing than those with shorter tails [35].

Acorns are commonly eaten by brush mice wherever they are available [10,17,26,54,57]. Arthropods and cutworms (Protorthodes rufula) are also eaten throughout the year [31,41,54,56,98]. A variety of fruits and seeds from Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), pinyon, California buckeye, manzanita (A. patula and A. viscida), silktassel (Garrya spp.), oneseed juniper (Juniperus monosperma), hackberries (Celtis spp.), New Mexico groundsel (Senecio neomexicanus var. neomexicanus), trailing fleabane (Erigeron flagellaris), annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus), broom snakeweed, common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), western yarrow (Achillea millefolium), white sweetclover (Melilotus albus), threenerve goldenrod (Solidago velutina), prickly-pear, desert wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) are eaten throughout the year when available [17,26,31,41,54,56,57,98]. Other plant parts, such as leaves, stems, flowers, pollen cones and new sprouts are typically eaten in lower quantities than other foods [31,41,54,56,98]. Fungi are typically consumed when other foods are scarce [54,56]. Infrequently, stomach contents of brush mice contained pieces of mammals, birds, and fence lizards (Sceloporus spp.) [54].

Brush mice have been observed caching pinyon pine seeds [78,79]. This observation suggests that the brush mouse may play a role in seed dispersal for some plant species.

  • 10. Baker, Rollin H. 1968. Habitats and distribution. In: King, John Arthur, ed. Biology of Peromyscus (Rodentia). Special Publication No. 2. Stillwater, OK: The American Society of Mammalogists: 98-126. [25452]
  • 17. Bradley, R. D.; Schmidly, D. J. 1999. Brush mouse: Peromyscus boylii. In: Wilson, Don E.; Ruff, Sue, eds. The Smithsonian book of North American mammals. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press: 564-565. [60379]
  • 26. Davis, William B. 1974. Brush mouse: Peromyscus boylii (Baird). In: The mammals of Texas. Bull. No. 41. Austin, TX: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: 205-206. [60375]
  • 31. Duran, John C. 1973. Field investigations and energy determinations of stomach contents of Peromyscus boylii in the Granite Basin area, Yavapai County, Arizona. Greeley, CO: University of Northern Colorado. 62 p. Dissertation. [60406]
  • 35. Findley, James S. 1987. Deer mice: Peromyscus. In: The natural history of New Mexican mammals. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press: 91-94. [60879]
  • 41. Goodwin, John Gravatt, Jr. 1975. Population densities and food selection of small rodents in Arizona ponderosa pine forests. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona. 72 p. Thesis. [60403]
  • 49. Holbrook, Sally J. 1978. Habitat relationships and coexistence of four sympatric species of Peromyscus in northwestern New Mexico. Journal of Mammalogy. 59(1): 18-26. [60568]
  • 51. Holbrook, Sally J. 1979. Vegetational affinities, arboreal activity, and coexistence of three species of rodents. Journal of Mammalogy. 60(3): 528-542. [60289]
  • 54. Jameson, E. W., Jr. 1952. Food of deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus and P. boylei, in the northern Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Mammalogy. 33(1): 50-60. [21605]
  • 56. Jameson, E. W., Jr.; Peeters, Hans J. 1988. Brush mouse (Peromyscus boylii). In: California mammals. California Natural History Guides: 52. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 301-302, 376. [60592]
  • 57. Kalcounis-Ruppell, Matina C. 2000. Breeding systems, habitat overlap, and activity patterns of monogamous and promiscuous mating in Peromyscus californicus and P. boylii. London, ON: University of Western Ontario. 177 p. Dissertation. [60408]
  • 69. Matson, John O. 1974. Notes on the arboreal acitivities of Peromyscus boylii in Inyo County, California. Bulletin Southern California Academy of Sciences. 73(1): 51-52. [60301]
  • 78. Pearson, Kristen M.; Covert, Kristin A.; Compton, Lee Ann. 2004. Effects of soil type on caching and pilfering of pinyon pine seeds by mice. In: van Riper, Charles, III; Cole, Kenneth L. The Colorado Plateau: Cultural, biological, and physical research. Tucson, AZ: The University of Arizona Press: 105-111. [52952]
  • 79. Pearson, Kristen M.; Theimer, Tad C. 2004. Seed-caching responses to substrate and rock cover by two Peromyscus species: implications for pinyon pine establishment. Oecologia. 141: 76-83. [60318]
  • 98. Smartt, Richard A. 1978. A comparison of ecological and morphological overlap in a Peromyscus community. Ecology. 59(2): 216-220. [60315]

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Food Habits

Like other species of Peromyscus, P. boylii is omnivorous. Its flexible diet varies both temporally and spatially reflecting variation in the availability of food resources across seasons, years, and habitats. In California, Jameson (1952) found that P. boylii fed extensively on acorns and conifer seeds in winter; insects in spring; manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula) berries and insects in summer; and acorns, conifer seeds, and fungi in fall. In New Mexico, Smartt (1978) found that over a one-year period important food items included, 31% arthropods, 26% juniper fruit and cones, 11% mistletoe, and 5% parts of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia).

Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods

Plant Foods: leaves; wood, bark, or stems; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit

Primary Diet: omnivore

  • Jameson, E. 1952. Food of deer mice, *Peromyscus maniculatus* and *P. boylei*, in the northern Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Mammalogy, 33: 50-60.
  • Smartt, R. 1978. A comparison of ecological and morphological overlap in a *Peromyscus* community. Ecology, 59: 216-220.
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Associations

Predators

Predators of the brush mouse include birds of prey such as the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) and spotted owl (Strix occidentalis) [60,63,84,100,108]. Potential mammalian predators of the brush mouse may include the coyote (Canis latrans), common gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), swift fox (Vulpes velox), ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), American marten (Martes americana), fisher (Martes pennanti), ermine (Mustela erminea), long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), hooded skunk (Mephitis macroura), white-backed hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus leuconotus), northern raccoon (Procyon lotor), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) [38,63,100,112]. Snakes also prey on brush mice [100,119].
  • 38. Garner, Herschel W. 1967. An ecological study of the brush mouse, Peromyscus boylii, in western Texas. The Texas Journal of Science. 19(3): 285-291. [60587]
  • 60. Kings River Team; Gill, Connie. 1997. Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystem Project. Forest Research West. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. September: 15-22. [55775]
  • 63. Laudenslayer, William F., Jr.; Fargo, Roberta J. 2002. Small mammal populations and ecology in the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project area. In: Verner, Jared, tech. ed. Proceedings of a symposium on the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project: progress and current status; 1998 January 26; Clovis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-183. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 133-142. [44210]
  • 84. Reynolds, Richard T.; Block, William M.; Boyce, Douglas A., Jr. 1996. Using ecological relationships of wildlife as templates for restoring southwestern forests. In: Covington, Wallace; Wagner, Pamela K., technical coordinators. Conference on adaptive ecosystem restoration and management: restoration of Cordilleran conifer landscapes of North America: Proceedings; 1996 June 6-8; Flagstaff, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-278. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 35-43. [26921]
  • 100. Storer, Tracy I.; Evans, Francis C.; Palmer, Fletcher G. 1944. Some rodent populations in the Sierra Nevada of California. Ecological Monographs. 14(2): 165-192. [60003]
  • 108. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 1995. Recovery plan for the Mexican spotted owl: Vols. 1-2. Albuquerque, NM. 370 p. [27998]
  • 112. Whitaker, John O., Jr. 1980. National Audubon Society field guide to North American mammals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 745 p. [25194]
  • 119. Zwartjes, Patrick W.; Cartron, Jean-Luc E.; Stoleson, Pamela L. L.; Haussamen, Walter C.; Crane, Tiffany E. 2005. Assessment of native species and ungulate grazing in the Southwest: terrestrial wildlife. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-142. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 74 p. [+ CD]. [60764]

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Ecosystem Roles

Peromyscus boylii are often one of the most common and abundant small mammals within parts of their range (Hoffmeister 1986, Boyett 2001) and undoubtedly serve as important prey for a variety of terrestrial and avian predators. They are reported to be an important food source for the federally threatened Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida — Ward and Block 1995).

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Predation

P. boylii escapes predation through their nocturnal and secretive habits. Their fecundity allows populations to withstand high predation pressures. They are important prey items for many predatory mammals, birds of prey, and snakes, including foxes, owls, hawks, and rattlesnakes.

Known Predators:

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Known predators

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Known prey organisms

Peromyscus boylii preys on:
non-insect arthropods
Arthropoda
Insecta

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
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General Ecology

In New Mexico, median home range size was less than 0.5 ha (Ribble and Stanley 1998).

In northern New Mexico, based on short-term data, mean home range size (minimum convex polygon) was 0.29 ha (trapping data) or 0.52 ha (radiotelemetry) (Ribble et al. 2002).

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Habitat-related Fire Effects

More info for the terms: association, basal area, cover, density, litter, prescribed fire, shrub, tree, wildfire

During the 2.5 weeks after a prescribed fire in California, 13 mice (P. maniculatus or P. truei) were captured [106], or approximately one third the original number of captures before the fire. The deep ash covering the burned area prevented the movement of the mice. Several days after the fire, heavy rain hardened the surface of the ash. Within 5 days, 51 mice were captured within the burned area [106]. Thus, fire-altered habitat appears to restrict the movement of mice until postfire conditions change.

Brush mice in New Mexico preferred sites with significantly lower tree cover (P<0.01), lower conifer density and basal area (P<0.001) and less litter (P<0.001) than random sites [111]. This suggests that fire may benefit brush mice by keeping tree cover and litter depth low. However, they also preferred sites with significantly higher shrub and oak sapling and seedling densities (P<0.001) [111]. This result suggests that fires removing low shrub and tree cover would be detrimental to the brush mouse. In an Arizona study, small mammals were sampled in burned and unburned chaparral and pine-oak forest from 14 months to 3 years after fire [73]. The wildfire burned more than 90% of the vegetation that was present before the fire. More than twice as many brush mice were captured in the unburned forest habitat than any other habitat sampled. The lowest number of captures came from the unburned chaparral. The burned habitats may have recovered sufficiently 3 years after fire, allowing brush mice to reinvade the area [73].

Fire may alter the habitat structure and/or the community composition, which may influence brush mouse populations [67]. Brush mice are able to recolonize areas that were burned previously. For instance, in a chaparral habitat of southern California, brush mice recolonized sites 3 years and 4 months after wildfire or prescribed fire [116]. Presumably, the fires severely altered the chaparral habitat so that it was unsuitable to brush mice for more than 3 years. Furthermore, brush mice occupied fire-caused secondary forest growth in dry forest habitats of southern Mexico [88]. Additionally, brush mice were captured in a former mixed conifer woodland dominated by white fir, Douglas-fir, incense-cedar (Calocedrus decurrens), sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana), and ponderosa pine that had succeeded to a California black oak (Q. kelloggii)-manzanita-ceanothus-Fremont silktassel (Garrya fremontii) association 19-38 years after fire [53].

The following table provides fire return intervals for plant communities and ecosystems where the brush mouse is important. For further information, see the FEIS review of the dominant species listed below.

Community or Ecosystem Dominant Species Fire Return Interval Range (years)
silver fir-Douglas-fir Abies amabilis-Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii >200 [3]
California chaparral Adenostoma and/or Arctostaphylos spp. 77]
silver sagebrush steppe Artemisia cana 5-45 [47,83,118]
sagebrush steppe Artemisia tridentata/Pseudoroegneria spicata 20-70 [77]
basin big sagebrush Artemisia tridentata var. tridentata 12-43 [89]
coastal sagebrush Artemisia californica <35 to <100
saltbush-greasewood Atriplex confertifolia-Sarcobatus vermiculatus <35 to <100
desert grasslands Bouteloua eriopoda and/or Pleuraphis mutica 5-100 [77]
plains grasslands Bouteloua spp. <35
blue grama-buffalo grass Bouteloua gracilis-Buchloe dactyloides <35 [77,118]
grama-galleta steppe Bouteloua gracilis-Pleuraphis jamesii <35 to <100
blue grama-tobosa prairie Bouteloua gracilis-Pleuraphis mutica <35 to <100
California montane chaparral Ceanothus and/or Arctostaphylos spp. 50-100 [77]
curlleaf mountain-mahogany* Cercocarpus ledifolius 13-1,000 [6,93]
mountain-mahogany-Gambel oak scrub Cercocarpus ledifolius-Quercus gambelii <35 to <100
blackbrush Coleogyne ramosissima <35 to <100
Arizona cypress Cupressus arizonica <35 to 200
western juniper Juniperus occidentalis 20-70
Rocky Mountain juniper Juniperus scopulorum <35
creosotebush Larrea tridentata <35 to <100 [77]
Engelmann spruce-subalpine fir Picea engelmannii-Abies lasiocarpa 35 to >200
blue spruce* Picea pungens 35-200 [3]
pinyon-juniper Pinus-Juniperus spp. <35 [77]
Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine P. aristata 9-55 [28,29]
Mexican pinyon Pinus cembroides 20-70 [72,104]
Rocky Mountain lodgepole pine* Pinus contorta var. latifolia 25-340 [3,12,13,105]
Sierra lodgepole pine* Pinus contorta var. murrayana 35-200 [3]
Colorado pinyon Pinus edulis 10-400+ [37,44,59,77]
Jeffrey pine Pinus jeffreyi 5-30
Pacific ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. ponderosa 1-47 [3]
interior ponderosa pine* Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum 2-30 [3,8,64]
Arizona pine Pinus ponderosa var. arizonica 2-15 [8,24,94]
galleta-threeawn shrubsteppe Pleuraphis jamesii-Aristida purpurea <35 to <100 [77]
Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir* Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca 25-100 [3,4,5]
coastal Douglas-fir* Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii 40-240 [3,76,87]
California mixed evergreen Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii-Lithocarpus densiflorus-Arbutus menziesii <35
California oakwoods Quercus spp. <35 [3]
oak-juniper woodland (Southwest) Quercus-Juniperus spp. <35 to <200 [77]
coast live oak Quercus agrifolia 2-75 [45]
canyon live oak Quercus chrysolepis <35 to 200
blue oak-foothills pine Quercus douglasii-P. sabiniana <35
Oregon white oak Quercus garryana <35 [3]
California black oak Quercus kelloggii 5-30
shinnery Quercus mohriana <35
interior live oak Quercus wislizenii <35 [77]
*fire return interval varies widely; trends in variation are noted in the species review
  • 53. Jameson, E. W., Jr. 1951. Local distribution of white-footed mice, Peromyscus maniculatus and P. boylei, in the northern Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Mammalogy. 32(2): 197-203. [25538]
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  • 6. Arno, Stephen F.; Wilson, Andrew E. 1986. Dating past fires in curlleaf mountain-mahogany communities. Journal of Range Management. 39(3): 241-243. [350]
  • 3. Arno, Stephen F. 2000. Fire in western forest ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 97-120. [36984]
  • 4. Arno, Stephen F.; Gruell, George E. 1983. Fire history at the forest-grassland ecotone in southwestern Montana. Journal of Range Management. 36(3): 332-336. [342]
  • 5. Arno, Stephen F.; Scott, Joe H.; Hartwell, Michael G. 1995. Age-class structure of old growth ponderosa pine/Douglas-fir stands and its relationship to fire history. Res. Pap. INT-RP-481. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station. 25 p. [25928]
  • 8. Baisan, Christopher H.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 1990. Fire history on a desert mountain range: Rincon Mountain Wilderness, Arizona, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 20: 1559-1569. [14986]
  • 89. Sapsis, David B. 1990. Ecological effects of spring and fall prescribed burning on basin big sagebrush/Idaho fescue--bluebunch wheatgrass communities. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University. 105 p. Thesis. [16579]
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  • 64. Laven, R. D.; Omi, P. N.; Wyant, J. G.; Pinkerton, A. S. 1980. Interpretation of fire scar data from a ponderosa pine ecosystem in the central Rocky Mountains, Colorado. In: Stokes, Marvin A.; Dieterich, John H., tech. coords. Proceedings of the fire history workshop; 1980 October 20-24; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-81. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 46-49. [7183]
  • 77. Paysen, Timothy E.; Ansley, R. James; Brown, James K.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Haase, Sally M.; Harrington, Michael G.; Narog, Marcia G.; Sackett, Stephen S.; Wilson, Ruth C. 2000. Fire in western shrubland, woodland, and grassland ecosystems. In: Brown, James K.; Smith, Jane Kapler, eds. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on flora. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-volume 2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 121-159. [36978]
  • 37. Floyd, M. Lisa; Romme, William H.; Hanna, David D. 2000. Fire history and vegetation pattern in Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, USA. Ecological Applications. 10(6): 1666-1680. [37590]
  • 24. Cooper, Charles F. 1961. Pattern in ponderosa pine forests. Ecology. 42(3): 493-499. [5780]
  • 29. Donnegan, Joseph A.; Veblen, Thomas T.; Sibold, Jason S. 2001. Climatic and human influences on fire history in Pike National Forest, central Colorado. Canadian Journal of Forestry Research. 31: 1526-1539. [43091]
  • 44. Gottfried, Gerald J.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Allen, Craig D.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Chung-MacCoubrey, Alice L. 1995. Pinyon-juniper woodlands. In: Finch, Deborah M.; Tainter, Joseph A., eds. Ecology, diversity, and sustainability of the Middle Rio Grande Basin. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-268. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 95-132. [26188]
  • 67. Lyon, L. Jack; Crawford, Hewlette S.; Czuhai, Eugene; Fredriksen, Richard L.; Harlow, Richard F.; Metz, Louis J.; Pearson, Henry A. 1978. Effects of fire on fauna: a state-of-knowledge review. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-6. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington Office. 41 p. [25066]
  • 72. Moir, William H. 1982. A fire history of the High Chisos, Big Bend National Park, Texas. The Southwestern Naturalist. 27(1): 87-98. [5916]
  • 76. Morrison, Peter H.; Swanson, Frederick J. 1990. Fire history and pattern in a Cascade Range landscape. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-254. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 77 p. [13074]
  • 83. Quinnild, Clayton L.; Cosby, Hugh E. 1958. Relicts of climax vegetation on two mesas in western North Dakota. Ecology. 39(1): 29-32. [1925]
  • 87. Ripple, William J. 1994. Historic spatial patterns of old forests in western Oregon. Journal of Forestry. 92(11): 45-49. [33881]
  • 88. Robertson, Paul B. 1975. Reproduction and community structure of rodents over a transect in southern Mexico. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas. 113 p. Dissertation. [60407]
  • 93. Schultz, Brad W. 1987. Ecology of curlleaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) in western and central Nevada: population structure and dynamics. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 111 p. Thesis. [7064]
  • 94. Seklecki, Mariette T.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Swetnam, Thomas W. 1996. Fire history and the possible role of Apache-set fires in the Chiricahua Mountains of southeastern Arizona. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; DeBano, Leonard F.; Baker, Malchus B., Jr.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Solis-Garza, Gilberto; Edminster, Carleton B.; Neary, Daniel G.; Allen, Larry S.; Hamre, R. H., tech. coords. Effects of fire on Madrean Province ecosystems: a symposium proceedings; 1996 March 11-15; Tucson, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-GTR-289. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 238-246. [28082]
  • 105. Tande, Gerald F. 1979. Fire history and vegetation pattern of coniferous forests in Jasper National Park, Alberta. Canadian Journal of Botany. 57: 1912-1931. [18676]
  • 106. Tevis, Lloyd, Jr. 1956. Effect of a slash burn on forest mice. Journal of Wildlife Management. 20(4): 405-409. [91]
  • 116. Wirtz, William O., II. 1984. Postfire rodent and bird communities in the chaparral of southern California. In: Dell, B., ed. Proceedings, 4th international conference on Mediterranean ecosystems; 1984 August 13-17; Perth, Western Australia. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia: 167-168. [60373]
  • 59. Keeley, Jon E. 1981. Reproductive cycles and FIRE REGIMES. In: Mooney, H. A.; Bonnicksen, T. M.; Christensen, N. L.; Lotan, J. E.; Reiners, W. A., tech. coords. FIRE REGIMES and ecosystem properties: Proceedings of the conference; 1978 December 11-15; Honolulu, HI. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-26. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 231-277. [4395]
  • 13. Barrett, Stephen W.; Arno, Stephen F.; Key, Carl H. 1991. FIRE REGIMES of western larch - lodgepole pine forests in Glacier National Park, Montana. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 21: 1711-1720. [17290]
  • 12. Barrett, Stephen W. 1993. FIRE REGIMES on the Clearwater and Nez Perce National Forests north-central Idaho. Final Report: Order No. 43-0276-3-0112. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. 21 p. Unpublished report on file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [41883]
  • 28. Donnegan, Joseph A. 1999. Climatic and human influences on FIRE REGIMES in Pike National Forest. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado. 122 p. Dissertation. [40456]
  • 45. Greenlee, Jason M.; Langenheim, Jean H. 1990. Historic FIRE REGIMES and their relation to vegetation patterns in the Monterey Bay area of California. The American Midland Naturalist. 124(2): 239-253. [15144]
  • 47. Heyerdahl, Emily K.; Berry, Dawn; Agee, James K. 1994. Fire history database of the western United States. Final report. Interagency agreement: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency DW12934530; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service PNW-93-0300; University of Washington 61-2239. Seattle, WA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pacific Northwest Research Station; University of Washington, College of Forest Resources. 28 p. [+ appendices]. Unpublished report on file with: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory, Missoula, MT. [27979]
  • 104. Swetnam, Thomas W.; Baisan, Christopher H.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Brown, Peter M. 1992. Fire history in a Mexican oak-pine woodland and adjacent montane conifer gallery forest in southeastern Arizona. In: Ffolliott, Peter F.; Gottfried, Gerald J.; Bennett, Duane A.; [and others], technical coordinators. Ecology and management of oak and associated woodlands: perspectives in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico: Proceedings; 1992 April 27-30; Sierra Vista, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-218. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 165-173. [19759]

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Direct Effects of Fire

More info for the terms: cover, prescribed fire

Most small mammals killed in fires likely die from suffocation rather than high temperatures or catching on fire [22,65], although many exceptions have been documented. For instance, several days after fire passed through a chaparral-covered canyon in California, 2 mice (Peromyscus spp.) carcasses were discovered [22]. The deer mice were not touched by fire, but a Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), a desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii), and a house mouse (Mus musculus) were burnt [22]. It is unclear whether the carcasses were charred before or after death.

Observations of small mammals before, during, and after fire suggest that most small mammals are able to escape fire by burrowing into the soil [99]. However, rodents may be susceptible to the heat effects of fire when soil temperatures are high. For instance, soil temperatures reaching or exceeding 145 °F (63 °C) appear to almost always be lethal to small mammals [52]. Rodents buried up to 6 inches (15 cm) died from lethal temperatures resulting from fire. Temperatures were especially high under fallen logs and near burning stumps. Rodents also died in rock crevices and under ceanothus when the temperature reached at least 140 °F (60 °C). Similarly, rats buried 1.5-5 inches (4-13 cm) below the soil surface in an open sunny site outside the burned area died when temperatures from solar radiation alone reached at least 145 °F (60 °C). However, a rat that was buried 7 inches (18 cm) under the surface survived where temperatures only reached 138 °F (59 °C) [52]. No data were found on brush mouse survival in burrows during fire.

In addition to lethal temperatures, small mammals may perish from exposure to flames. Deer mice (P. maniculatus), pinyon mice (P. truei), Townsend's chipmunks (Tamias townsendii), Trowbridge's shrews (Sorex trowbridgii), and dusky-footed woodrats (Neotoma fuscipes) were seen fleeing from burning slash piles in a prescribed fire in California [106]. Woodrats in the fire waited until their cover was fully engulfed in flames before escaping. Some woodrats caught on fire from burning pitch that dropped onto them while they were hiding. Such individuals appeared to run in a panicked manner, starting small fires along the way. Woodrats not on fire tended to run from one patch of cover to the next in a less erratic fashion. Several woodrats perished either from catching on fire or by refusing to leave their homes [106]. Although observations of mouse (Peromyscus spp.) behavior during the fire was limited, it is possible that they may behave in a similar manner to the woodrats.

Immediately after the fire, approximately one third of the original number of mice captured on the site were recaptured [106]. Nearly all were collected from the edge of the burn. Individuals captured within the burn were collected from islands which did not catch fire. Thus, all the mice that were not able to find cover outside the fire appear to have either perished or fled the area entirely [106]. Fire effects on the brush mouse may be comparable because of the biological similarities between brush mice and other Peromyscus species.

  • 22. Chew, Robert M.; Butterworth, Bernard B.; Grechman, Richard. 1959. The effects of fire on the small mammal populations of chaparral. Journal of Mammalogy. 40(2): 253. [2703]
  • 52. Howard, W. E.; Fenner, R. L.; Childs, H. E., Jr. 1959. Wildlife survival in brush burns. Journal of Range Management. 12: 230-234. [247]
  • 65. Lawrence, George E. 1966. Ecology of vertebrate animals in relation to chaparral fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Ecology. 47(2): 278-291. [147]
  • 99. Smith, Jane Kapler, ed. 2000. Wildland fire in ecosystems: Effects of fire on fauna. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-42-vol. 1. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 83 p. [44460]
  • 106. Tevis, Lloyd, Jr. 1956. Effect of a slash burn on forest mice. Journal of Wildlife Management. 20(4): 405-409. [91]

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Timing of Major Life History Events

More info for the term: torpor

Brush mice are nocturnal [26,31,54,63,70,100]. Brush mice appear to limit activity during cooler months in the Sierra Nevada of California [100], although they are not known to hibernate or enter torpor [113]. In southern areas, such as Arizona, Texas, and northern Mexico, brush mice are active year-round [25,26,38,48,92].

Brown [19] reported that brush mice reach sexual maturity at 12-19 weeks. However, Clark [23] reported that female brush mice may reach sexual maturity in approximately 5-9 weeks. In Arizona, females born in late May or June were found pregnant during August of the same year [48]. In western Texas, Arizona, southern Utah, and Mexico, breeding appears to occur nearly year-round [25,38,48,66,92]. However, in northern California, Jameson [55] found that breeding in brush mice peaked twice each year, once in late spring and again in late summer. This result may be related to food availability [55,56].

Female brush mice carry 1-6 embryos each [11,17,48,55,66,100] with an average of 3-4 embryos [11,17,48,55]. Lactating females may become pregnant [48], although lactation may slow the development of embryos in Peromyscus species [102]. Bradley and Schmidly [17] reported that the gestation period of the brush mouse is around 23 days. Females may have multiple litters per year [17,25]. The amount of time between litters is likely similar to other Peromyscus species and may be 25-31 days [100]. Young are weaned at 3-4 weeks of age [17].

Brush mice have a promiscuous mating system [57,85]. Four out of 7 litters in a California study were fathered by several males [57]. Males and females did not share nests and mating pairs did not remain together for long periods of time [57].

Few Peromyscus spp. mice live longer than 6 months in the wild, but individuals may live up to 4-5 years in captivity [80].

  • 11. Baker, Rollin H.; Greer, J. Keever. 1962. Mammals of the Mexican state of Durango. In: Michigan State University Museum Publications: Biological Series 2. East Lansing, MI: Michigan State University: 25-154. [61125]
  • 17. Bradley, R. D.; Schmidly, D. J. 1999. Brush mouse: Peromyscus boylii. In: Wilson, Don E.; Ruff, Sue, eds. The Smithsonian book of North American mammals. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press: 564-565. [60379]
  • 19. Brown, L. N. 1963. Maturational molts and seasonal molts in Peromyscus boylii. American Midland Naturalist. 70(2): 466-469. [60317]
  • 23. Clark, Frank H. 1938. Age of sexual maturity in mice of the genus Peromyscus. Journal of Mammalogy. 19(2): 230-234. [60316]
  • 25. Cornely, John E.; Schmidly, David J.; Genoways, Hugh H.; Baker, Robert J. 1981. Mice of the genus Peromyscus in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. Occasional Papers No. 74. Lubbock, TX: Museum Texas Tech University. 35 p. [60297]
  • 26. Davis, William B. 1974. Brush mouse: Peromyscus boylii (Baird). In: The mammals of Texas. Bull. No. 41. Austin, TX: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department: 205-206. [60375]
  • 31. Duran, John C. 1973. Field investigations and energy determinations of stomach contents of Peromyscus boylii in the Granite Basin area, Yavapai County, Arizona. Greeley, CO: University of Northern Colorado. 62 p. Dissertation. [60406]
  • 38. Garner, Herschel W. 1967. An ecological study of the brush mouse, Peromyscus boylii, in western Texas. The Texas Journal of Science. 19(3): 285-291. [60587]
  • 48. Hoffmeister, Donald F. 1986. Peromyscus boylii--brush mouse. In: Mammals of Arizona. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press; Arizona Game and Fish Department: 364-369. [60286]
  • 54. Jameson, E. W., Jr. 1952. Food of deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus and P. boylei, in the northern Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Mammalogy. 33(1): 50-60. [21605]
  • 55. Jameson, E. W., Jr. 1953. Reproduction of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus and P. boylii) in the Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Mammalogy. 34(1): 44-58. [60313]
  • 56. Jameson, E. W., Jr.; Peeters, Hans J. 1988. Brush mouse (Peromyscus boylii). In: California mammals. California Natural History Guides: 52. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press: 301-302, 376. [60592]
  • 57. Kalcounis-Ruppell, Matina C. 2000. Breeding systems, habitat overlap, and activity patterns of monogamous and promiscuous mating in Peromyscus californicus and P. boylii. London, ON: University of Western Ontario. 177 p. Dissertation. [60408]
  • 63. Laudenslayer, William F., Jr.; Fargo, Roberta J. 2002. Small mammal populations and ecology in the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project area. In: Verner, Jared, tech. ed. Proceedings of a symposium on the Kings River Sustainable Forest Ecosystems Project: progress and current status; 1998 January 26; Clovis, CA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-183. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 133-142. [44210]
  • 66. Long, W. S. 1940. Notes on the life histories of some Utah mammals. Journal of Mammalogy. 21(2): 170-180. [60002]
  • 70. Mazen, Walter S.; Rudd, Robert L. 1980. Comparative energetics in two sympatric species of Peromyscus. Journal of Mammalogy. 61(3): 573-574. [60290]
  • 85. Ribble, David O.; Stanley, Sherri. 1998. Home ranges and social organization of syntopic Peromyscus boylii and P. truei. Journal of Mammalogy. 79(3): 932-941. [60581]
  • 92. Schmidly, David J.; Hendricks, Fred S. 1984. Mammals of the San Carlos Mountains of Tamaulipas, Mexico. In: Martin, Robert E.; Chapman, Brian R., eds. Special Publications: The Museum Texas Tech University. No. 22. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University: 15-69. [61135]
  • 100. Storer, Tracy I.; Evans, Francis C.; Palmer, Fletcher G. 1944. Some rodent populations in the Sierra Nevada of California. Ecological Monographs. 14(2): 165-192. [60003]
  • 102. Svihla, Arthur. 1932. A comparative life history study of the mice of the genus Peromyscus. Miscellaneous Publications No. 24. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology. 39 p. [60555]
  • 113. Williams, Daniel F.; Verner, Jared; Sakal, Howard F.; Waters, Jeffrey R. 1992. General biology of major prey species of the California spotted owl. In: Verner, Jared; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Noon, Barry R.; Gutierrez, R. J.; Gould, Gordon I., Jr.; Beck, Thomas W., tech. coords. The California spotted owl: a technical assessment of its current status. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-133. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station: 207-221. [28203]
  • 80. Peromyscus Genetic Stock Center. 2005. Frequently asked questions about Peromyscus, [Online]. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, Peromyscus Genetic Stock Center (Producer). Available: http://stkctr.biol.sc.edu/FAQ.htm [2005, December 12]. [60551]

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Like other Peromyscus species, brush mice have keen eyesight and vision and extensively use chemical cues in communication.

Communication Channels: visual ; chemical

Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic

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Cyclicity

Comments: Completely nocturnal. Active year-round.

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Little information on the life span/longevity of P. boylii in the wild is available. Nevertheless, the longevity of Peromyscus is typically short with few living more than one year under natural conditions (Terman 1968). In a long-term mark-recapture study of P. boylii in Arizona, Abbott et al. (1999) found that of more than 300 individuals most survived one year or less. A few individuals survived up to 26 months. Although mark-recapture studies typically underestimate survival and longevity and do not distinguish between dispersal and mortality, they provide a rough estimate of these demographic parameters.

  • Abbott, K., T. Ksiazek, J. Mills. 1999. Long-term hantavirus persistence in rodent populations in central Arizona. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 5: 102-112.
  • Terman, C. 1968. Population dynamics. Pp. 412-450 in J King, ed. Biology of *Peromyscus* (Rodentia). Special Publication Number 8: American Society of Mammalogists.
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Reproduction

Breeds mainly March-April through September-October in California (see Kirkland and Layne 1989). Several litters of 1-6 (average generally 3-4, but average 2.3 in Oaxaca, Mexico) young are reared annually.

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The social behavior of P. boylii has not been well studied when compared to other species of Peromyscus (Wolff 1989). Consequently, little information on the mating system in P. boylii is available. However, Ribble and Stanley (1998) found that the spatial distributions of male and female P. boylii in their New Mexico study populations were indicative of a promiscuous mating system. Paternity of litters, however, was not investigated. Additional studies, throughout the range of P. boylii, are needed to characterize further the type of mating system or systems operating in this species.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

Breeding in P. boylii occurs throughout most of the year, although the majority of young are born in spring and early summer (Bradley and Schmidly 1999). Breeding may cease during winter months in the northern part of its range. In northern California, Jameson (1953) found that breeding did not begin until April and ended in October. In Arizona, Hoffmeister (1986) thought that young were probably born in every month. Following a gestation period of about 23 days, two to five young (average of three) are born; growth and development are rapid, and the young are weaned at three to four weeks of age; several litters are produced per year (Bradley and Schmidly 1999). Clark (1938) reported a mean age at puberty of 51 days for females. In Arizona, females born in early summer were pregnant by late summer (Hoffmeister 1986).

Breeding interval: Female brush mice produce several litters per year.

Breeding season: Brush mice can breed throughout most of the year.

Range number of offspring: 2 to 5.

Average number of offspring: 3.

Average gestation period: 23 days.

Range weaning age: 3 to 4 weeks.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 51 days.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous

At birth, young P. boylii are hairless and blind and rely on the mother for care (Bradley and Schmidly 1999).

Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female)

  • Clark, F. 1938. Age of sexual maturity in mice of the genus *Peromyscus*. Journal of Mammalogy, 19: 230-234.
  • Hoffmeister, D. 1986. Mammals of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona: Arizona Game and Fish Department and University of Arizona Press.
  • Jameson, E. 1953. Reproduction of deer mice (*Peromyscus maniculatus* and *P. boylei*) in the Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Mammalogy, 34: 44-58.
  • Bradley, R., D. Schmidly. 1999. Brush mouse / *Peromyscus boylii*. Pp. 564-565 in D Wilson, S Ruff, eds. The Smithsonian book of North American mammals. Washington, D.C: Smithsonian Institution Press.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Peromyscus boylii

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 33
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Linzey, A.V., Timm, R., Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T., Castro-Arellano, I. & Lacher, T.

Reviewer/s
McKnight, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team) & Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it does not appear to be under threat and is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Information on state- and province-level protection status of animals in the United States and Canada is available at NatureServe, although recent changes in status may not be included.

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U.S. Federal Legal Status

None [109]
  • 109. U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. 2013. Endangered Species Program, [Online]. Available: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/. [86564]

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Peromyscus boylii has no special conservation status.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Population

Population
This species is common.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
None known. However, on San Pedro Nolasco Island, a related species Peromyscus pembertoni, has gone extinct.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no known conservation measures specific to this species. However, there are several protected areas within its range. The population on San Pedro Nolasco Island has protected status under Mexican law.
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Use of Fire in Population Management

More info for the terms: cover, shrub

Brush mice have a negative response to fire initially. However, after vegetation begins to recover, brush mice are able to recolonize burned habitats. Over the long term, fire is beneficial to brush mice unless plant cover is greatly reduced or habitat structure is altered. Detrimental habitat changes may include a reduction in shrub height or shrub cover (see Preferred Habitat).

Frequent fires would likely be necessary to keep brush mouse populations low. This goal would be valuable when the spread of hantavirus to humans was a concern. On the other hand, if increasing brush mouse populations as a food source for predators such as the spotted owl were necessary, then less frequent fires may be desirable.

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Management Considerations

More info for the terms: cover, presence, shrub, tree

The activities of humans since the arrival of Europeans have created more brushlands than previously existed, thus creating favorable habitat for the brush mouse [10]. Brush mouse populations appear positively correlated to the amount of downed woody debris present on a site [95]. In New Mexico, bulldozed and thinned sites had 2.5-3 times more slash (10% to 13% slash cover) than untreated sites (3% slash cover). These same sites had at least twice as many brush mice captured as the untreated site. A site that was bulldozed, piled, and burned (6% slash cover) also had a higher brush mouse population than the untreated site, but lower than the bulldozed or thinned only sites [95]. Similarly, a habitat assessment in California suggests that the removal of downed woody debris and the reduction of tree and shrub canopy cover to 40% during fuels treatments would have a negative impact on the brush mouse [15].

Brush mice are primary carriers of Sin Nombre virus, which causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome in humans [42]. Because their presence in and around buildings has been documented [42], reducing habitat suitability by the removal of vegetation and wood piles around man-made structures may reduce the transmission of the disease to humans.

  • 10. Baker, Rollin H. 1968. Habitats and distribution. In: King, John Arthur, ed. Biology of Peromyscus (Rodentia). Special Publication No. 2. Stillwater, OK: The American Society of Mammalogists: 98-126. [25452]
  • 15. Bogener, Dave. 2003. SP-T11 -- Effects of fuel load management and fire prevention on wildlife and plant communities. Oroville, CA: State of California, Department of Water Resources. Draft final report. Oroville Facilities Relicensing: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Project No. 2100. 42 p. [53768]
  • 42. Gottesman, Amy B.; Krausman, Paul R.; Morrison, Michael L.; Petryszyn, Yar. 2004. Movements and home range of brush mice. The Southwestern Naturalist. 49(2): 289-294. [60569]
  • 95. Severson, Kieth E. 1986. Small mammals in modified pinyon-juniper woodlands, New Mexico. Journal of Range Management. 39(1): 31-34. [2107]

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

In the southwestern United States, P. boylii has been identified as a reservoir host for hantavirus (Mills et al. 1997, Abbott et al. 1999) and therefore may pose a health risk to humans. Persons living or working in areas where they may come into contact with potentially infected rodents should therefore follow specific safety precautions and guidelines (e.g., Mills et al. 1995, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2000). Sanchez et al. (2001) recently identified a previously unknown strain of hantavirus from P. boylii, which they named Limestone Canyon virus. However, they found no evidence that Limestone Canyon virus causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (carries human disease)

  • Mills, J., T. Ksiazek, B. Ellis, P. Rollin, S. Nichol. 1997. Patterns of association with host and habitat: antibody reactive with Sin Nombre virus in small mammals in the major biotic communities of the southwestern United States. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 56: 273-284.
  • Mills, J., T. Yates, J. Childs, R. Parmenter, T. Ksiazek. 1995. Guidelines for working with rodents potentially infected with hantavirus. Journal of Mammalogy, 76: 716-722.
  • Sanchez, A., K. Abbott, S. Nichol. 2001. Genetic identification and characterization of Limestone Canyon virus, a unique *Peromyscus*-borne hantavirus. Virology, 286: 345-353.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2000. "National center for infectious diseases, special pathogens branch, all about hantavirus, prevention information" (On-line). Accessed November 04, 2001 at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/noframes/phys/prevent.htm.
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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Most information indicates that P. boylii is probably of little positive economic importance. Jameson (1952), however, suggested that P. boylii may be beneficial to reforestation projects by consuming harmful insect pests in such areas, but he also noted that these mice probably consume the planted seeds. On a large scale, P. boylii likely has little or no positive economic benefit for humans.

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Wikipedia

Brush mouse

The brush mouse (Peromyscus boylii) is a species of rodents in the family Cricetidae. It is found in mountainous areas of Mexico and the western United States at altitudes over 2,000 m (6,600 ft).[1]

Description[edit]

The brush mouse is medium-sized, with small ears and a long tail. It has yellowish-brown fur on the body, with slate grey under parts. The tail has only sparse hair for most of its length, but with a distinct brush-like tuft of hair at the tip (although the common name is, perhaps, more likely to come from brushy environment in which it lives). It has a head-body length of 86 to 105 mm (3.4 to 4.1 in) with a tail 88 to 115 mm (3.5 to 4.5 in) long. It is very similar in appearance to a number of closely related species of mouse living in the same area, although it can be distinguished from them by such features as the length of its tail, the size of its ears, and the presence of the tuft on the end of the tail.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The brush mouse can be found from northern California to eastern Colorado and western Texas, and south to Baja California and southern Mexico.[3] Fossils of brush mice up to 35,000 years old have been discovered, but none have been definitively identified from outside the current range of the species.[2]

Vegetation in brush mouse habitats may vary from location to location, but brush mice are consistently captured in areas with medium to high densities of shrubs and tree cover under 16 ft (5 m) in height.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11] In California, mature chaparral (cover ≥50%) appears to provide more suitable habitat for brush mice than young, open chaparral (cover <50%).[8] Similarly, in Arizona, Duran [5] captured brush mice most frequently in shrub live oak and birchleaf mountain-mahogany (Cercocarpus betuloides) understory habitats with 45% to 50% plant cover. Fewer brush mice were captured in habitats with less plant cover.[5] Holbrook [12] observed that after vegetation crowns were removed in a manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.)-oak shrubland, brush mice avoided the newly opened space. In another study, brush mice were strongly restricted to habitats in which gaps between rocks or ceanothus (Ceanothus spp.) on the site were less than 4 ft (1.2 m).[13]

In addition to shrub density, the height of cover appears to influence brush mouse distribution within a site. An average understory height of 5.0–6.5 feet (1.5–2.0 m) was preferred by brush mice over lower understory cover.[14] In another study, brush mouse presence was positively correlated with microhabitats of shrub cover up to 10 feet (3 m) tall, logs over 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter, and understory trees 10–33 feet (3–10 m) in height, but negatively correlated with grass-forb microhabitats.[15]

Brush mice are also commonly captured at locations with high proportions of rock cover and/or slash piles in habitats characterized by chaparral-mountain shrub, oak/shrub, oak-juniper-pinyon pine, juniper-pinyon pine, and oak-pine communities, as well as riparian habitats.[4][6][7][9][10][11][16][17][18][19][20][21] The brush mouse in Texas has been found in all major habitats present (desert, grassland, riparian, and montane), although it is typically associated with rock outcrops within these habitats.[4] Riparian sites with abundant brush mouse populations had high shrub cover, high frequency of debris piles with low grass, litter, and tree cover.[22] In a Mexico study, a canyon was dominated by exposed rock, grasses, pines, hardwoods, and brush.[16] In West Texas, brush mice favored fallen logs and brush piles.[23] Modi [24] discovered that brush mice were common in riparian zones dominated by pecan (Carya illinoensis), American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and live oak (Quercus virginiana), in an oak community with a partially open canopy and dense understory, and in a pine forest with little understory and scattered boulders. In New Mexico, brush mouse populations were significantly (P<0.05) higher on sites that were bulldozed or thinned (98 and 115 captures, respectively) than untreated or bulldozed and burned sites.[25] Populations were lowest on sites that had not been treated (45 captures). Sites that had increased slash from bulldozing and burning had more brush mice (57 captures) than the untreated sites, but the difference was not significant (P>0.05). No influence of canopy cover on brush mice was observed by Severson et al..[25]

Besides high tree, shrub, and rock densities, brush mice appear to prefer locations with low grass cover.[13][22] At the same time, grasses are often present in the understory indicating that grasses do not exclude brush mice.[4][18] Brush mice used grazed and ungrazed pastures and ceanothus plots,[13] but they were concentrated around rocky outcrops and vegetation continuous with the rock outcrops. No brush mice were captured in the grasslands more than 20 ft (6 m) from rocks, shrubs, or trees.[13] Litter depth also appears negatively correlated to brush mouse presence.[10][14] For instance, brush mice in Arizona were captured in litter depths of only 0.9 inches (2.4 cm).[10]

Brush mice also use fire-affected habitats. In one study, brush mice were captured in burned and unburned chaparral, as well as burned and unburned pine-oak forest. The highest number of captures were recorded in unburned forest, while the lowest captures occurred in the unburned chaparral.[7] These results are somewhat inconsistent with other observations which show the brush mouse favoring dense chaparral habitat. Small mammal capture data in the study were collected from 14 months to three years after fire.[7] The time frame of sampling after fire may influence the perceived response of the brush mouse to burned habitats.

Elevation, in addition to habitat characteristics, may play a role in habitat suitability in some areas. For instance, in the northern Sierra Nevada of California, brush mice were captured in brush habitats at 3,500–5,000 ft (1,000–1,500 m), but not at 6,500 ft (2,000 m).[26] Aspect may influence the distribution of brush mice on a site, as well. For example, in New Mexico, 51% of all brush mice captured were taken on south-facing slopes, 24% on west-facing slopes, with 13% and 12% of mice captured on east- and north-facing slopes, respectively.[11] The south-facing canyon slopes may provide more cover for brush mice due to higher numbers of shrubs.[11]

Although brush mice are found on a variety of slopes, including flat mesas and gradual slopes, they seem to prefer locations with very steep slopes, such as hillsides, mountainsides, and canyons (including some slopes with >45% gradient) over more gradual slopes in the same areas.[7][14][16][18][19] Findley [27] reported that brush mice were captured on hillsides in an oak/sacahuista (Nolina spp.) community. In another study, brush mice were common in canyon bottoms, on hillsides, and in arroyos (water channels in arid regions) characterized by oak woodlands.[28] Brush mice have also been captured along the sides of brush covered canyons and burned slopes of an oak/brush association.[11]

Subspecies[edit]

Four subspecies of brush mouse are currently identified:[2]

  • P. b. boylii – northern California
  • P. b. glasselliSan Pedro Nolasco Island
  • P. b. rowleyi – remainder of range
  • P. b. utahensis – central Utah

Density and home range[edit]

Brush mouse population densities were 40–72 mice per hectare in coastal California.[29] discovered Similarly, densities of brush mice in coastal California were 42–89 mice per hectare.[30] Densities appear t be greatly influenced by weather. Densities were 17–20 per acre one year, but were reduced to six mice per acre following a severe winter.[19] At another study site, brush mice increased from four individuals per acre to 12 per acre after a mild winter.[19] Populations in a canyon in Mexico were estimated at a mean of 10.8 brush mice per acre or 6.0 males and 4.8 females per acre.[16] The range was 9–14 brush mice per acre.[16]

A study using radiotelemetry and trapping data in Arizona estimated mean home range size for male brush mice at 0.72–1.6 acres (0.29–0.64 hectare), and 0.32–0.79 acre (0.13–0.32 hectare) for females.[31] In another study at the same location, home ranges for male brush mice ranged from means of 1.2–1.5 acres (0.47–0.62 hectare) and for females, means of 0.64–1.2 acres (0.26–0.49 hectare).[32] Mean home range for male and female brush mice in Arizona, based on radiotelemetry, was 0.30 acre (0.12 hectare).[33]

Cover requirements[edit]

No significant differences in habitat use between genders were observed in Arizona.[34] Typical habitat in southern Arizona was characterized by 74% tree cover, 60% leaf cover, 21% shrub cover, and 16% rock cover. Additionally, 67% of all brush mice relocated by radiotelemetry in the study were located in a riparian zone with the other observations occurring in uplands and an intermittent stream channel. Brush mice used sites with significantly (P<0.05) more rock cover (19% to 22%) during winter and spring than at other times of the year. Also in spring, plots with the most brush mice also had significantly (P<0.05) more shrub cover (21% vs.14%) and succulents (9% vs. 2%) than random plots.[34]

In a New Mexico study, 27% of brush mice captured were taken around rocky areas, 10% under Gambel oak (Q. gambelii), 9% under juniper, and 7% each around woodpiles and sacahuista.[11] Less frequently, brush mice were taken under or around pinyon pine, gray oak (Q. grisea), Apache plume, rabbitbrush, mountain-mahogany, white fir (Abies concolor), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), locust (Robinia spp.), prickly pear, cholla (Opuntia spp.), chokecherry (Prunus spp.), bricklebush (Brickellia spp.), and grape (Vitis spp.).[11]

In southern California, brush mice were captured on leaf mold in an oak hardwood association of coast live oak, white alder (Alnus rhombifolia), whiteflower currant, and sumac (Rhus spp.).[21] They were also trapped under logs and dense vegetation and on wet seepage slopes next to a creek.[21] In coastal California, brush mice were captured primarily under coast live oak, false-willow (Baccharis douglasii), California buckeye, and California bay.[30]

Fallen logs and rock outcrops provide nest sites for the brush mouse.[35] They may also construct nests in tree hollows and underground burrows.[36] Brush mice living in mine shafts or caves build nests similar to those of goldfinches.[6] Davis [23] noted that the brush mouse nest is a "globular structure" and is constructed primarily of dried grasses within natural cavities. Brush mouse nest sites in California were found on sites with a high density coast live oak (Q. agrifolia) overstory and an open understory with low vegetation and ground cover.[29]

Plant communities[edit]

California[edit]

In California, overstory associates include gray pine (Pinus sabiniana) and California buckeye (Aesculus californica).[14] Understory and other herbaceous species include bulrushes (Scirpus spp.), fourwing saltbrush (Atriplex canescens), and rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus). Whiteflower currant (Ribes indecorum), California bay (Umbellularia californica), black sage (Salvia mellifera), laurel sumac (Malosma laurina), and deerweed (Lotus scoparius) may also be present.[21][37][38][39] Understories may also include exotic annual forbs and grasses such as mustard (Brassica spp.), oats (Avena spp.), and brome (Bromus spp.).[39]

Arizona[edit]

In Arizona, overstories where brush mice are found are characterized by desert willow (Chilopsis linearis), Arizona sycamore (Platanus wrightii), and shrub live oak (Quercus turbinella).[15][22] Shrub associates include evergreen sumac (Rhus virens), skunkbush sumac (Rhus trilobata), roundleaf snowberry (Symphoricarpos rotundifolius), New Mexico locust (Robinia neomexicana), common hoptree (Ptelea trifoliata), fendlerbush (Fendlera rupicola), Carruth's sagewort (Artemisia carruthii), catclaw acacia (Acacia greggii), broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), red barberry (Mahonia haematocarpa), netleaf hackberry (Celtis reticulata), and wait-a-minute (Mimosa aculeaticarpa var. biuncifera).[22][40] Herbaceous and succulent species in brush mouse habitats include Wheeler sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri), sacahuista (Nolina microcarpa), Palmer agave (Agave palmeri), goldenrod (Solidago spp.), lupine (Lupinus spp.), prickly-pear (Opuntia spp.), and ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens).[22][40] Grasses found in brush mouse habitat include Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana), bottlebrush squirreltail (Elymus elymoides), and other annual and perennial bunchgrasses.[15][22][40]

New Mexico[edit]

New Mexico habitats are characterized by rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus spp.), Apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa), fourwing saltbrush, common hoptree and crispleaf buckwheat (Eriogonum corymbosum) in addition to a pinyon-juniper-mountain-mahogany (Pinus-Juniperus-Cercocarpus spp.) overstory.[41] Texas plant associates include Pinchot juniper (Juniperus pinchotii), algerita (Mahonia trifoliolata), clapweed (Ephedra antisyphilitica), featherplume (Dalea formosa), and prickly-pear (Opuntia spp.).[17]

Timing of major life events[edit]

Brush mice are nocturnal.[5][23][37][42][43] Brush mice appear to limit activity during cooler months in the Sierra Nevada of California,[43] although they are not known to hibernate or enter torpor.[36] In southern areas, such as Arizona, Texas, and northern Mexico, brush mice are active year-round.[4][6][17][23][44]

Brush mice reach sexual maturity at 12–19 weeks.[45] However, female brush mice may reach sexual maturity in about five to 9 weeks.[46] In Arizona, females born in late May or June were found pregnant during August of the same year.[6] In West Texas, Arizona, southern Utah, and Mexico, breeding appears to occur nearly year-round.[4][6][17][20][44] However, in northern California, breeding in brush mice peaked twice each year, once in late spring and again in late summer.[47] This result may be related to food availability.[47][48]

Female brush mice carry one t six embryos each,[6][20][35][43][47] with three or four embryos being most common.[6][35][47] Lactating females may become pregnant,[6] although lactation may slow the development of embryos in Peromyscus species. The gestation period of the brush mouse is around 23 days.[35] Females may have multiple litters per year.[4][35] The time between litters is likely similar to other Peromyscus species, 25–31 days.[43] Young are weaned at three to four weeks of age.[35]

Brush mice have a promiscuous mating system.[29][32] Four of seven litters in a California study were fathered by several males.[29] Males and females did not share nests, and mating pairs did not remain together for long periods of time.[29]

Few Peromyscus spp. mice live longer than six months in the wild, but individuals may live up to five years in captivity.[49]

Food habits[edit]

Brush mice are semiarboreal and can be found foraging in shrubs and trees for leaves and fruits.[27][48] Females were captured more often than males foraging in canyon live oaks (Q. chrysolepis).[38] The individuals with the longest tails appear to spend more time climbing than those with shorter tails.[27]

Acorns are commonly eaten by brush mice wherever they are available.[23][29][35][37] Arthropods and cutworms (Protorthodes rufula) are also eaten throughout the year.[5][19][37][41][48] A variety of fruits and seeds from Douglas-fir, ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), pinyon, California buckeye, manzanita (A. patula and A. viscida), silktassel (Garrya spp.), oneseed juniper (Juniperus monosperma), hackberries (Celtis spp.), New Mexico groundsel (Senecio neomexicanus var. neomexicanus), trailing fleabane (Erigeron flagellaris), annual sunflower (Helianthus annuus), broom snakeweed, common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), western yarrow (Achillea millefolium), white sweetclover (Melilotus albus), threenerve goldenrod (Solidago velutina), prickly-pear, desert wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum), Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis), and blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis) are eaten throughout the year when available.[5][19][23][29][35][37][41][48] Other plant parts, such as leaves, stems, flowers, pollen cones, and new sprouts are typically eaten in lower quantities than other foods.[5][19][37][41][48] Fungi are typically consumed when other foods are scarce.[37][48] Infrequently, stomach contents of brush mice contained pieces of mammals, birds, and fence lizards (Sceloporus spp.).[37]

Brush mice have been observed caching pinyon pine seeds.[50][51] This observation suggests the brush mouse may play a role in seed dispersal for some plant species.

Predators[edit]

Predators of the brush mouse include birds of prey such as the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) and spotted owl (Strix occidentalis).[42][43][52][53] Potential mammalian predators may include the coyote (Canis latrans), common gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes), swift fox (Vulpes velox), ringtail (Bassariscus astutus), American marten (Martes americana), fisher (Martes pennanti), ermine (Mustela erminea), long-tailed weasel (Mustela frenata), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), hooded skunk (Mephitis macroura), white-backed hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus leuconotus), northern raccoon (Procyon lotor), bobcat (Lynx rufus), and ocelot (Leopardus pardalis).[17][42][43][54] Snakes also prey on brush mice.[43][55]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Department of Agriculture document "Peromyscus boylii".

  1. ^ a b Linzey, A.V., Timm, R., Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T., Castro-Arellano, I. & Lacher, T. (2008). "Peromyscus boylii". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Kalcounis-Rueppell, M.C. & Spoon, T.R. (2009). "Peromyscus boylii (Rodentia: Cricetidae)". Mammalian Species 838: 1–14. doi:10.1644/838.1. 
  3. ^ Wilson, Don E.; Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. 2005. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. 3rd ed. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press ISBN 0-8018-8221-4
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Cornely, John E.; Schmidly, David J.; Genoways, Hugh H.; Baker, Robert J. 1981. Mice of the genus Peromyscus in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. Occasional Papers No. 74. Lubbock, TX: Museum Texas Tech University
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Duran, John C. 1973. Field investigations and energy determinations of stomach contents of Peromyscus boylii in the Granite Basin area, Yavapai County, Arizona. Greeley, CO: University of Northern Colorado. Dissertation
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Hoffmeister, Donald F. 1986. Peromyscus boylii—brush mouse. In: Mammals of Arizona. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press; Arizona Game and Fish Department: 364–369
  7. ^ a b c d e Monroe, Lindsey M.; Cunningham, Stanley C.; Kirkendall, Lari Beth (2004). "Small mammal community responses to a wildfire on a central Arizona sky island". Journal of the Arizona Nevada Academy of Science 37 (2): 56–61. doi:10.2181/1533-6085(2004)037<0056:SMCRTA>2.0.CO;2. JSTOR 27641720. 
  8. ^ a b Quinn, Ronald D. 1990. Habitat preferences and distribution of mammals in California chaparral. Res. Pap. PSW-202. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station
  9. ^ a b Svoboda, Peggy L.; Tolliver, Deanna K.; Choate, Jerry R. (1988). "Peromyscus boylii in the San Luis Valley, Colorado". The Southwestern Naturalist 33 (2): 239–240. doi:10.2307/3671904. 
  10. ^ a b c d Ward, James P., Jr.; Block, William M. 1995. Mexican spotted owl prey ecology. In: Block, William M.; Clemente, Fernando; Cully, Jack F.; Dick, James L., Jr.; Franklin, Alan B.; Ganey, Joseph L.; Howe, Frank P.; Moir, W. H.; Spangle, Steven L.; Rinkevich, Sarah E.; Urban, Dean L.; Vahle, Robert; Ward, James P., Jr.; White, Gary C. Recovery plan for the Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida). Vol. 2. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service: 1–48
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Wilson, Don E. (1968). "Ecological distribution of the genus Peromyscus". The Southwestern Naturalist 13 (3): 267–274. doi:10.2307/3669220. JSTOR 3669220. 
  12. ^ Holbrook, Sally J. (1979). "Habitat utilization, competitive interactions, and coexistence of three species of Cricetine rodents in east-central Arizona". Ecology 60 (4): 758–769. doi:10.2307/1936613. JSTOR 1936613. 
  13. ^ a b c d Quast, Jay C. (1954). "Rodent habitat preferences on foothill pastures in California". Journal of Mammalogy 35 (4): 515–521. doi:10.2307/1375575. JSTOR 1375575. 
  14. ^ a b c d Slayden, O. V. Daniel. 1984. Spatial segregation in three sympatric species of Peromyscus from the north Coast Range of California. Sonoma, CA: Sonoma State University. Thesis
  15. ^ a b c Boyett, William D. 2001. Habitat relations of rodents in the Hualapai Mountains of northwestern Arizona. Oshkosh, WI: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Thesis
  16. ^ a b c d e Drake, James J. (1958). "The brush mouse Peromyscus boylii in southern Durango". Michigan State University Museum Publications: Biological Series 1 (3): 97–132. 
  17. ^ a b c d e Garner, Herschel W. (1967). "An ecological study of the brush mouse, Peromyscus boylii, in western Texas". The Texas Journal of Science 19 (3): 285–291. 
  18. ^ a b c Geluso, Kenneth N. (1971). "Habitat distribution of Peromyscus in the Black Mesa region of Oklahoma". Journal of Mammalogy 52 (3): 605–607. doi:10.2307/1378596. JSTOR 1378596. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g Goodwin, John Gravatt, Jr. 1975. Population densities and food selection of small rodents in Arizona ponderosa pine forests. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona. Thesis
  20. ^ a b c Long, W. S. (1940). "Notes on the life histories of some Utah mammals". Journal of Mammalogy 21 (2): 170–180. doi:10.2307/1374973. JSTOR 1374973. 
  21. ^ a b c d Vaughan, Terry A. (1954). "Mammals of the San Gabriel Mountains of California". University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas 7 (9): 513–582. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f Ellison, Laura E.; van Riper, Charles, III. (1998). "A comparison of small-mammals communities in a desert riparian floodplain". Journal of Mammalogy 79 (3): 972–985. doi:10.2307/1383105. JSTOR 1383105. 
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Further reading[edit]

  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. pp. 894–1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Peromyscus schmidlyi of western Mexico formerly was included in P. boylii; it was described as a distinct species by Bradley et al. (2004). Peromyscus attwateri, P. aztecus, P. baetae, P. levipes, P. madrensis, P. sagax, P. simulus, and P. spicilegus formerly were included in P. boylii; Musser and Carleton (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) cited pertinent studies in recgonizing these taxa as distinct species. Peromyscus stephani was included in Peromyscus boylii by Hafner et al. (2001), but Musser and Carleton (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) cited other studies in maintaining P. stephani as a distinct species.

Some taxa previously included as subspecies of P. boylii are now included in other species (e.g., cordillerae and evides in P. aztecas; ambiguus in P. levipes; sacarensis in P. baetae, and penicillatus in P. nasutus (see Musser and Carleton, in Wilson and Reeder 2005).

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The scientific name of brush mouse is Peromyscus boylii Baird [7,115]. It is a
member of the mouse, rat, and vole family, Muridae [9]. Subspecies in the United
States include:

P. b. ssp. rowleyi (Allen) [46]

P. b. ssp. utahensis Durrant [46]

In the Timing Of Major Life History Events section
of this review, some reproductive information specific to the brush mouse was
not available. In these cases, information on the entire genus is presented. 
Additionally, in the Fire Effects And Use section,
observations of mice from the genus Peromyscus are presented, although the
mice were not identified to species in those publications.
  • 115. Wilson, Don E.; Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. 2005. Mammal species of the world: a taxonomic and geographic reference. 3rd ed. Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press. 2142 p. [60623]
  • 7. Baird. 1855. Hesperomys boylii. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. 7: 335-336. [55735]
  • 9. Baker, Robert J.; Bradley, Lisa C.; Bradley, Robert D.; Dragoo, Jerry W.; Engstrom, Mark D.; Hoffmann, Robert S.; Jones, Cheri A.; Reid, Fiona; Rice, Dale W.; Jones, Clyde. 2003. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 2003. Occasional Papers No. 229. Lubbock, TX: Museum of Texas Tech University. 23 p. [50946]
  • 46. Hall, E. Raymond. 1981. Peromyscus boylii: Brush mouse. In: The mammals of North America. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. New York: John Wiley & Sons: 694-697. [54706]

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Common Names

brush mouse

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Synonyms

Peromyscus boylei Baird [54]
  • 54. Jameson, E. W., Jr. 1952. Food of deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus and P. boylei, in the northern Sierra Nevada, California. Journal of Mammalogy. 33(1): 50-60. [21605]

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