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Overview

Brief Summary

Description

The Great Basin Pocket Mouse is the largest member of the genus. It inhabits arid and semi-arid habitats in nearly the entire Great Basin region of western North America, particularly where sagebrush dominates the vegetation. The Mice increase the amount of water available from the small seeds they eat by storing them in the burrow, where humidity is higher than it is aboveground - the seeds actually absorb water while they are stored. Great Basin Pocket Mice become inactive from about November through March, entering torpor for long periods of time. The breeding season begins in April and ends as early as July in the northern part of the range, and as late as October farther south. Females have 1-3 litters of 2-8 young annually, though they may not breed during a drought.

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  • Original description: Peale, T.R., 1848.  U.S. exploring expeditions 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842 under the command of Charles Wilkes, U.S.N., Mammalogy and Ornithology, p. 53.  Asherman and Co., Philadelphia, 8:1-338.
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Distribution

occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: Great Basin, from south-central British Columbia southward to southern California, northern Arizona, and southwestern Wyoming.

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Range Description

This species occupies the Great Basin, from south-central British Columbia in Canada, southward to southern California, northern Arizona, and southwestern Wyoming in the United States.
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The Great Basin pocket mouse occurs in the Columbia River and Great
basins and adjacent lands. It is distributed from south-central British
Columbia and eastern Washington south to southeastern California,
Nevada, and northern Arizona and east to southeastern Montana and
Wyoming [3,43]. Distribution of subspecies is [18,21]:

Perognathus parvus bullatus: central and east-central Utah
P. p. clarus: extreme southwestern Montana; southeastern Idaho;
extreme north-central Utah; extreme southwestern Wyoming
P. p. columbianus: central and southern Washington
P. p. idahoensis: south-central Idaho
P. p. laingi: south-central British Columbia
P. p. lordi: extreme south-central Bristish Columbia; central and
eastern Washington; northwestern Idaho
P. p. mollipilosus: south-central Oregon; north-central and
northeastern California
P. p. olivaceus: most of Nevada; eastern California; extreme
southeastern Oregon; southern Idaho; western Colorado; most widely
distributed subspecies
P. p. parvus: southeastern Washington; central and eastern Oregon
P. p. trumbullensis: southern Colorado; northern Arizona
P. p. yakimensis: south-central Washington

The yellow-eared pocket mouse occurs on the eastern slope of the
Tehachipi Mountains in Kern County, California [21,43]. It is not
certain whether its distribution is disjunct or joins that of P. parvus
olivaceus [18].
  • 3. 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]
  • 18. Williams, Daniel F.; Genoways, Hugh H.; Braun, Janet K. 1993. Taxonomy. In: Genoways, Hugh H.; Brown, James H., eds. Biology of the Heteromyidae. Special Publication No. 10. [Place of publication unknown]
  • 21. Hall, E. Raymond. 1981. The mammals of North America. 2nd ed. Volume I. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 600 p. [26447]
  • 43. Whitaker, John O., Jr. 1980. National Audubon Society field guide to North American mammals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 745 p. [25194]

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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):

5 Columbia Plateau
6 Upper Basin and Range
7 Lower Basin and Range
8 Northern Rocky Mountains
9 Middle Rocky Mountains
10 Wyoming Basin
12 Colorado Plateau

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Occurrence in North America

AZ CA CO ID MT NV OR UT WA WY


BC

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Geographic Range

This pocket mouse can be found in the Great Basin from South British Columbia (Canada), south to eastern California and east to southeast Wyoming and northwest Arizona (Wilson 1993).

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Head and body length: 60-90 mm Tail length: 45-100 mm

The upper parts of its body are a pinkish buff color, which is thinly to heavily overlaid with a blackish color, while the underparts vary from white to buffy. The soft coat of this mouse has no bristles. One molt takes place in late summer. The soles of its hind feet are hairy, and the tail is long and bicolored (Hall 1981).

Its hind limbs are about the same length of its forelimbs, and the Great Basin pocket mouse moves about on all four legs. While the hind legs provide support, the forefeet dig with claws through sand to find seeds (Nowak 1991). These seeds are then placed in fur-lined external cheek pouches, which open alongside its mouth (Britannica 1997).

Average mass: 20.1 g.

Average basal metabolic rate: 0.16 W.

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Size

Length: 20 cm

Weight: 31 grams

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Size in North America

Length:
Average: 174 mm males; 171 mm females
Range: 160-181 mm males; 160-190 mm females

Weight:
Average: 25.4 g males; 20.5 g females
Range: 21.5-31 g males; 16.5-28.5 g females
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Ecology

Habitat

Palouse Grasslands Habitat

This taxon is found in the Palouse grasslands, among other North American ecoregions. The Palouse ecoregion extends over eastern Washington, northwestern Idaho and northeastern Oregon. Grasslands and savannas once covered extensive areas of the inter-mountain west, from southwest Canada into western Montana in the USA. Today, areas like the great Palouse prairie of eastern  are virtually eliminated as natural areas due to conversion to rangeland. The Palouse, formerly a vast expanse of native wheatgrasses (Agropyron spp), Idaho Fescue (Festuca idahoensis), and other grasses, has been mostly plowed and converted to wheat fields or is covered by Drooping Brome (Bromus tectorum) and other alien plant species.

the Palouse historically resembled the mixed-grass vegetation of the Central grasslands, except for the absence of short grasses. Such species as Bluebunch Wheatgrass (Elymus spicatus), Idaho Fescue (Festuca idahoensis) and Giant Wildrye (Elymus condensatus) and the associated species Lassen County Bluegrass (Poa limosa), Crested Hairgrass (Koeleria pyramidata), Bottlebrush Squirrel-tail (Sitanion hystrix), Needle-and-thread (Stipa comata) and Western Wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii) historically dominated the Palouse prairie grassland.

Representative mammals found in the Palouse grasslands include the Yellow-bellied Marmot (Marmota flaviventris), found burrowing in grasslands or beneath rocky scree; American Black Bear (Ursus americanus); American Pika (Ochotona princeps); Coast Mole (Scapanus orarius), who consumes chiefly earthworms and insects; Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus lateralis); Gray Wolf (Canis lupus); Great Basin Pocket Mouse (Perognathus parvus); Northern River Otter (Lontra canadensis); the Near Threatened Washington Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus washingtoni), a taxon who prefers habitat with dense grass cover and deep soils; and the Northern Flying Squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus), a mammal that can be either arboreal or fossorial.

There are not a large number of amphibians in this ecoregion. The species present are the Great Basin Spadefoot Toad (Spea intermontana), a fossorial toad that sometimes filches the burrows of small mammals; Long-toed Salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum); Northern Leopard Frog (Glaucomys sabrinus), typically found near permanent water bodies or marsh; Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana luteiventris), usually found near permanent lotic water; Pacific Treefrog (Pseudacris regilla), who deposits eggs on submerged plant stems or the bottom of water bodies; Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), fossorial species found in burrows or under rocks; Woodhouse's Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii), found in arid grasslands with deep friable soils; Western Toad (Anaxyrus boreas), who uses woody debris or submerged vegetation to protect its egg-masses.

There are a limited number of reptiles found in the Palouse grasslands, namely only: the Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea), often found in screes, rock outcrops as well as riparian vicinity; the Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta), who prefers lentic freshwater habitat with a thick mud layer; Yellow-bellied Racer (Chrysemys picta); Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus), often found under loose stones in this ecoregion; Pygmy Short-horned Lizard (Phrynosoma douglasii), a fossorial taxon often found in bunchgrass habitats; Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana), frequently found in sandy washes with scattered rocks; Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata), an essentially terrestrial species that prefers riparian areas and other moist habitats; Pacific Pond Turtle (Emys marmorata), a species that usually overwinters in upland habitat; Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis), who, when inactive, may hide under rocks or in animal burrows; Night Snake (Hypsiglena torquata); Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus), who prefers grasslands with rocky areas; Western Terrestrial Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans), found in rocky grasslands, especially near water; Rubber Boa (Charina bottae).

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Comments: Arid, sandy short-grass steppes; brushland covered with sagebrush, bitterbrush, and rabbit brush; pinyon-juniper woodland. Usually found in habitats with light-textured, deep soils; also among rocks. Sleeps and rears young in underground burrows.

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is found in arid, sandy short-grass steppes; brushland covered with sagebrush, bitterbrush, and rabbit brush; pinyon-juniper woodland. It usually is found in habitats with light-textured, deep soils; also among rocks. Sleeps and rears young in underground burrows. Reproductively active spring-summer. Gestation probably lasts about 21-28 days. Females will produce up to three litters per year, this may vary with precipitation. The number of fetuses per female ranges from two to eight with an average of five. Young are weaned in about three weeks.

Primarily solitary. Home range has been estimated at up to 0.40 ha. Primarily a seed eater, but also feeds on insects and some green vegetation in spring/summer. Seeds stored in underground storage chambers. It may forage in grain fields but no significant damage has been noted (Bureau of Land Management, no date). Little above-ground activity occurs in November-March; during this time, long periods of torpor are presumed to alternate with arousal and eating periods. Also may become torpid in summer. It is active within an hour after sunset.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Cover Requirements

More info for the term: cover

Great Basin pocket mice are nocturnal and use burrows for daytime cover.
They also use burrows during periods of winter and summer torpor
[30,32,38,43]. The winter burrow consists of a 3- to 6-foot- (0.9-1.8 m-)
deep tunnel leading to a chamber lined with dry vegetation. The
summer burrow is shallow. Except for mothers with young, the burrow is
occupied by a single individual [43].
  • 30. Maser, Chris; Thomas, Jack Ward; Anderson, Ralph G. 1984. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands--the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon: The relat. of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities: Part 2. Appendices. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-172. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station; Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 237 p. [1544]
  • 32. McAdoo, J. Kent; Klebenow, Donald A. 1979. Native faunal relationships in sagebrush ecosystems. In: The sagebrush ecosystem: a symposium: Proceedings; 1978 April; Logan, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources: 50-61. [1562]
  • 38. Schreiber, R. Kent. 1978. Bioengergetics of the Great Basin pocket mouse, Perognathus parvus. Acta Theriologica. 23(32): 469-487. [26874]
  • 43. Whitaker, John O., Jr. 1980. National Audubon Society field guide to North American mammals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 745 p. [25194]

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Associated Plant Communities

More info for the term: shrub

The Great Basin pocket mouse occupies steppes and open, arid shrublands
and woodlands. It most commonly occurs in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.),
shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia), and other desert shrub, and in
pinyon-juniper (Pinus-Juniperus spp.) woodland. On the eastern slope of
the Cascade Range and the Sierra Nevada, it occurs in ponderosa pine (P.
ponderosa) and Jeffrey pine (P. jefferyi) woodlands [18]. Riparian
zones may have larger concentrations of Great Basin pocket mice than
upland areas [8,9].

REFERENCES :
NO-ENTRY
  • 8. Cannings, Richard J. 1987. The breeding biology of northern saw-whet owls in southern British Columbia. In: Nero, Robert W.; Clark, Richard J.; Knapton, Richard J.; Hamre, R. H., eds. Biology and conservation of northern forest owls: Symposium proceedings; 1987 February 3-7; Winnipeg, MB. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-142. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 193-198. [17939]
  • 9. Clary, Warren P.; Medin, Dean E. 1992. Vegetation, breeding bird, and small mammal biomass in two high-elevation sagebrush riparian habitats. In: Clary, Warren P.; McArthur, E. Durant; Bedunah, Don; Wambolt, Carl L., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on ecology and management of riparian shrub communities; 1991 May 29-31; Sun Valley, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-289. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 100-110. [19103]
  • 18. Williams, Daniel F.; Genoways, Hugh H.; Braun, Janet K. 1993. Taxonomy. In: Genoways, Hugh H.; Brown, James H., eds. Biology of the Heteromyidae. Special Publication No. 10. [Place of publication unknown]

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Habitat: Rangeland Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following Rangeland Cover Types (as classified by the Society for Range Management, SRM):

More info for the term: shrub

101 Bluebunch wheatgrass
102 Idaho fescue
104 Antelope bitterbrush-bluebunch wheatgrass
105 Antelope bitterbrush-Idaho fescue
106 Bluegrass scabland
107 Western juniper/big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass
109 Ponderosa pine shrubland
110 Ponderosa pine-grassland
210 Bitterbrush
211 Creosotebush scrub
212 Blackbush
301 Bluebunch wheatgrass-blue grama
302 Bluebunch wheatgrass-Sandberg bluegrass
303 Bluebunch wheatgrass-western wheatgrass
304 Idaho fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass
305 Idaho fescue-Richardson needlegrass
306 Idaho fescue-slender wheatgrass
307 Idaho fescue-threadleaf sedge
309 Idaho fescue-western wheatgrass
311 Rough fescue-bluebunch wheatgrass
312 Rough fescue-Idaho fescue
314 Big sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass
315 Big sagebrush-Idaho fescue
316 Big sagebrush-rough fescue
317 Bitterbrush-bluebunch wheatgrass
318 Bitterbrush-Idaho fescue
320 Black sagebrush-bluebunch wheatgrass
321 Black sagebrush-Idaho fescue
323 Shrubby cinquefoil-rough fescue
401 Basin big sagebrush
402 Mountain big sagebrush
403 Wyoming big sagebrush
405 Black sagebrush
406 Low sagebrush
407 Stiff sagebrush
408 Other sagebrush types
412 Juniper-pinyon woodland
413 Gambel oak
414 Salt desert shrub
501 Saltbush-greasewood
506 Creosotebush-bursage
504 Juniper-pinyon pine woodland

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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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

K010 Ponderosa shrub forest
K011 Western ponderosa forest
K023 Juniper-pinyon woodland
K034 Montane chaparral
K038 Great Basin sagebrush
K040 Saltbush-greasewood
K041 Creosotebush
K050 Fescue-wheatgrass
K051 Wheatgrass-bluegrass
K055 Sagebrush steppe

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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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):

FRES21 Ponderosa pine
FRES29 Sagebrush
FRES30 Desert shrub
FRES34 Chaparral-mountain shrub
FRES35 Pinyon-juniper
FRES36 Mountawin grasslands

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Preferred Habitat

Great Basin pocket mice occupy open, arid terrain. They seek friable
soil of a variety of textures for burrowing [5,22,42].

Home ranges of 7,060 to 9,630 square feet (656-895 sq m) have been
reported for Great Basin pocket mice in British Columbia. Males may
have larger home ranges than females. Average home ranges reported from
south-central Washington are 23,030 square feet (2,140 sq m) and 33,640
square feet (3,125 sq m) for adult males and 15,564 square feet (1,446
sq m) for adult females [38]. In big sagebrush habitat on the Malheur
National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon, home ranges of adult males were
significantly greater (p < 0.001) than home ranges of females.
Reproductively active adult males had significantly (p < 0.05) larger
home ranges than adult males with unenlarged testes. In black
greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) habitat, however, there were no
significant differences between male and female home ranges or between
home ranges of reproductive and nonreproductive adult males [14].
  • 5. Black, Hal L.; Frischknecht, Neil C. 1971. Relative abundance of mice on seeded sagebrush-grass range in relation to grazing. Res. Note INT-147. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 8 p. [25566]
  • 14. Feldhamer, George A. 1979. Home range relationships of three rodent species in southeast Oregon. Murrelet. 60: 50-57. [26867]
  • 22. Hedlund, J. D.; Rickard, W. H. 1981. Wildfire and the short-term response of small mammals inhabiting a sagebrush-bunchgrass community. Murrelet. 62: 10-14. [1114]
  • 38. Schreiber, R. Kent. 1978. Bioengergetics of the Great Basin pocket mouse, Perognathus parvus. Acta Theriologica. 23(32): 469-487. [26874]
  • 42. Verner, Jared; Boss, Allan S., tech. coords. 1980. California wildlife and their habitats: western Sierra Nevada. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-37. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 439 p. [10237]

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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):

237 Interior ponderosa pine
238 Western juniper
239 Pinyon-juniper
247 Jeffrey pine

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The Great Basin pocket mouse can be found in shrub/grassland communities of sagebrush, shadscale, greasewood, mountain mahogany, and bitterbrush. Habitats dominated with shrub are useful in vegetative cover, while also providing better and more diverse food resources (Bushey 1987).

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland

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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.

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Primarily a seed eater, but also feeds on insects and some green vegetation in spring/summer. Seeds stored in underground storage chambers. May forage in grain fields but no significant damage has been noted (Bureau of Land Management, no date).

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Food Habits

More info for the terms: cover, forb, torpor

Great Basin pocket mice consume primarily seeds, but eat some green
vegetation [33,34]. Prior to production of seeds, they also consume
insects [11]. Great Basin pocket mice do not use free water [36]; they
metabolize water from food [43]. Pocket mice (Perognathus spp.) and
other heteromyids are scatterhoarders: They cache seeds in shallow
depressions and cover the seeds with soil. The seeds are primarily
those of grass species, and some preferred forb species. Indian
ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides) [29], cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum),
Russian-thistle (Salsola kali), [38], antelope bitterbrush (Purshia
tridentata) [16,43], pigweed (Amaranthus spp.), and mustard (Brassica
spp.) [43] seeds are important Great Basin pocket mouse food items. In
productive years, cheatgrass seeds formed a major portion of the diet of
Great Basin pocket mice in southeastern Washington [38].

Seeds of medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) were not used by Great
Basin pocket mice in Lassen County, California, and areas with heavy
medusahead invasion were avoided [29].

Estimated seed intake of a Great Basin pocket mouse is from 4 to 10
percent of total body weight daily. Assuming a wholly cheatgrass diet,
an individual requires 870 to 1,000 seeds per day in spring and summer,
and about 750 seeds per day in fall. Estimated daily maintenance energy
requirement ranges from a winter low of 2.4 kilocalories (males) and 2.6
kilocalories (females) to a high of 7.0 kilocalories (males) and 6.6
kilocalories (females) in spring. A total of about 1.8 to 2.1 ounces
(50-60 g) of seed must be cached to meet the winter energy requirement
[38]. To conserve energy when food is scarce in summer, Great Basin
pocket mice often enter a state of torpor that lasts a few hours
[23,38].

Great Basin pocket mice are fairly successful at finding buried seed
caches, even those buried by other individuals. In a laboratory
experiment, Great Basin pocket mice found Indian ricegrass seeds 17.5
percent of the time when researchers cached seeds 1.3 centimeters below
ground; 42.5 percent of the time when seeds were cached 0.6 centimeter
below ground; and 100 percent of the time when seeds were scattered on
the soil surface [25].
  • 11. Dunigan, P. F. X., Jr.; Lei, W.; Rickard, W. H. 1980. Pocket mouse population response to winter precipitation and drought. Northwest Science. 54(4): 289-295. [26866]
  • 16. Gano, K. A.; Rickard, W. H. 1982. Small mammals of a bitterbrush-cheatgrass community. Northwest Science. 56(1): 1-7. [990]
  • 23. Hedlund, J. D.; Rogers, L. E. 1980. Great Basin pocket mice (Perognathus parvus) in the vicinity of radioactive waste management areas. Northwest Science. 54(2): 153-159. [26871]
  • 25. Johnson, Terrell K.; Jorgensen, Clive D. 1981. Ability of desert rodents to find buried seeds. Journal of Range Management. 34(4): 312-314. [5059]
  • 29. Longland, William S. 1994. Seed use by desert granivores. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Kitchen, Stanley G., compilers. Proceedings--ecology and management of annual rangelands; 1992 May 18-22; Boise, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-313. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 233-237. [24288]
  • 33. O'Farrell, Michael J. 1978. Home range dynamics of rodents in a sagebrush community. Journal of Mammalogy. 59(4): 657-668. [1788]
  • 34. O'Farrell, Thomas P.; Olson, Richard J.; Gilbert, Richard O.; Hedlund, John D. 1975. A population of Great Basin pocket mice, Perognathus parvus, in the shrub-steppe of south-central Washington. Ecological Monographs. 45: 1-28. [26872]
  • 36. Price, M. V.; Brown, J. H. 1983. Patterns of morphology and resource use in North American desert rodent communities. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs. 7: 117-134. [25706]
  • 38. Schreiber, R. Kent. 1978. Bioengergetics of the Great Basin pocket mouse, Perognathus parvus. Acta Theriologica. 23(32): 469-487. [26874]
  • 43. Whitaker, John O., Jr. 1980. National Audubon Society field guide to North American mammals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 745 p. [25194]

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Food Habits

Its diet consists mostly of seeds of forbs, grasses and shrubs. Along with green vegetation, insects are eaten particularly when they are abundant (Grzimek 1990).

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Associations

Predators

Owls (Tytonidae and Strigidae) [43], including northern saw-whet owls
(Aegolius acadicus) [8] and burrowing owls (Speotyto cunicularia) [24],
hawks (Accipitridae) [43], coyotes (Canis latrans) [12,40], foxes (Vulpes
and Urocyon spp.), weasels and skunks (Mustelidae), and snakes
(Serpentes) [43] prey on Great Basin pocket mice.
  • 8. Cannings, Richard J. 1987. The breeding biology of northern saw-whet owls in southern British Columbia. In: Nero, Robert W.; Clark, Richard J.; Knapton, Richard J.; Hamre, R. H., eds. Biology and conservation of northern forest owls: Symposium proceedings; 1987 February 3-7; Winnipeg, MB. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-142. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 193-198. [17939]
  • 12. Edwards, Loren Lee. 1975. Home range of the coyote in southern Idaho. Pocatello, ID: Idaho State University. 36 p. Thesis. [21493]
  • 24. Henny, Charles J.; Blus, Lawrence J. 1981. Artificial burrows provide new insight into burrowing owl nesting biology. Raptor Research. 15(3): 82-85. [26112]
  • 40. Springer, Joseph Tucker. 1982. Movement patterns of coyotes in south central Washington. Journal of Wildlife Management. 46(1): 191-200. [25117]
  • 43. Whitaker, John O., Jr. 1980. National Audubon Society field guide to North American mammals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 745 p. [25194]

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General Ecology

Primarily solitary. Home range has been estimated at up to 0.40 ha; varies with several factors. Population density may reach 80/ha or more in years with abundant precipitation.

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Habitat-related Fire Effects

More info for the terms: prescribed fire, succession, wildfire

Great Basin pocket mice tend to converge on recent burns. They were
adundant in early stages of plant succession following wildfire in a big
sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) community in Washoe County, Nevada.
Great Basin pocket mice comprised 67 percent of all rodents present on
burned sites and 55 percent of all rodents present on unburned sites
(averaged over postfire years 1-3) [29]. In a short-term study in Lava
Beds National Park, California, Great Basin pocket mice were most
adundant on burned sites following June prescribed burning of a western
juniper (Juniperus occidentalis)-antelope bitterbrush-curlleaf mountain
mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius) community. During the first 2
postfire months, 26 Great Basin pocket mice were trapped on the burn and
16 were trapped on the unburned control. By September, Great Basin
pocket mouse use of burned and unburned areas was about equal (13 and 12
trappings, respectively) [15].

Great Basin pocket mouse populations can increase greatly when fire is
followed by favorable precipitation the next growing season. A wildfire
in pristine big sagebrush/bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria spicata)
on 13 August, 1973, was followed by above-average precipitation (330 mm
in 1974 compared to 120 mm in 1973) and high plant productivity in 1974.
The Great Basin pocket mouse population had been censused prior to the
wildfire. The numer of individuals trapped on transects in 1973 and 1974
was [22]:

1973 1974
__________________________
June: 20* June: 15
Oct: 4 Oct: 150
Nov: 0 Nov: 130
__________________________
*prefire census

Prescribed fire apparently slightly reduced Great Basin pocket mouse
adundance in a singleleaf pinyon-Utah juniper (Pinus monophylla-
Juniperus osteosperma) community in east-central Nevada. Average number
of Great Basin pocket mice caught on transects was [31]:

Burn
Burned Unburned ecotone
___________________________________________________
postfire year 1 0.5 0.8 ---
postfire year 2 1.3 1.8 1.3
___________________________________________________

Cheatgrass: Fire in cheatgrass can favor Great Basin pocket mice when
fire is followed by above-average precipitation. On the Columbia River
plain of south-central Washington, Brandt and Rickard [6] found Great
Basin pocket mouse numbers were greater in recently burned areas (3
years since wildfire) dominated almost exclusively by cheatgrass than in
big sagebrush-cheatgrass areas. Great Basin pocket mouse numbers were
greatest, however, in antelope bitterbrush-Indian ricegrass communities.
Numbers were probably greatest in the native plant community because
cheatgrass production is unpredictable. Although it is often high, it
can be very low in dry years. Gano and Rickard [16] found Great Basin
pocket mice had greater long-term survival rates in shrub-native grass
stands than in cheatgrass stands. Following a 1963 wildfire that burned
10,095 acres (4,038 ha) of an antelope bitterbrush-big sagebrush
community in south-central Washington, and a 1973 repeat wildfire that
consumed even more acreage, burned areas become dominated by cheatgrass.
From 1974 to 1979, a Great Basin pocket mouse population on the burn
showed greater year-to-year fluctuation than a population on the
unburned control. By spring 1978, Great Basin pocket mice were
estimated to be 3 times more adundant on unburned areas than on burned
areas. In 1978, following a year of low plant productivity due to
drought, 15 Great Basin pocket mice were trapped on the unburned
control, while only one individual was trapped on the burn [16].

Eight years after wildfire on the Doyle Wildlife Management Area near
Reno, Nevada, the burned area was dominated by cheatgrass, skeleton weed
(Lygodesmia spinosa), buckwheat (Eriogonum nudum), and desert peach
(Prunus andersonii). Unburned areas were dominated by antelope
bitterbrush, big sagebrush, and desert peach. Great Basin pocket mouse
density was greater on unburned areas than on burned areas. Fifteen
individuals were trapped on an unburned area, while only one individual
was trapped on the burn [10].
  • 6. Brandt, C. A.; Rickard, W. H. 1994. Alien taxa in the North American shrub-steppe four decades after cessation of livestock grazing and cultivation agriculture. Biological Conservation. 68(2): 95-105. [23456]
  • 10. Clements, Charlie D.; Young, James A. 1996. Influence of rodent predation on antelope bitterbrush seedlings. Journal of Range Management. 49(1): 31-34. [26571]
  • 15. Frenzel, R. W.; Starkey E. E.; Black, H. C. 1979. Effects of prescribed burning on small-mammal communities in Lava Beds National Monument, California. In: Linn, Robert M., ed. Proceedings, 1st conference on scientific research in the National Parks: Vol. 1; 1976 November 9-12; New Orleans, LA. National Park Service Transactions and Proceedings No. 5. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service: 287-292. [970]
  • 16. Gano, K. A.; Rickard, W. H. 1982. Small mammals of a bitterbrush-cheatgrass community. Northwest Science. 56(1): 1-7. [990]
  • 22. Hedlund, J. D.; Rickard, W. H. 1981. Wildfire and the short-term response of small mammals inhabiting a sagebrush-bunchgrass community. Murrelet. 62: 10-14. [1114]
  • 29. Longland, William S. 1994. Seed use by desert granivores. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Kitchen, Stanley G., compilers. Proceedings--ecology and management of annual rangelands; 1992 May 18-22; Boise, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-313. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 233-237. [24288]
  • 31. Mason, Robert B. 1981. Response of birds and rodents to controlled burning in pinyon-juniper woodlands. Reno, NV: University of Nevada. 55 p. Thesis. [1545]

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Timing of Major Life History Events

More info for the terms: litter, torpor

In late fall and winter, Great Basin pocket mice remain in their burrows
in a state of torpor [33,34]. They emerge from their burrows and mate
in early spring [33,34,43]. Males emerge slightly before females. In
south-central Washington, Great Basin pocket mice emerged from March to
April [23]. Prebreeding enlargement of ovaries and testes begins in
winter in the complete darkness of the burrow. Following emergence from
the burrow, the lengthening photoperiod of spring apparently triggers
final enlargement and development of gonads for breeding [27]. Access
to succulent green vegetation in spring may enhance reproductive success
of females. Captive female Great Basin pocket mice from eastern
Washingon fed lettuce and seeds had significantly larger ovaries than
control females fed only seeds. Great Basin pocket mice remain
reproductively active through summer. Females produce one or two
litters per year. Most first litters are delivered in May and second
litters in August [38,43]. Reports of average litter size have ranged
from 3.9 in south-central Washington [38] to 5.6 in Nevada [20].
First-litter subadults first leave the natal burrow in early summer;
subadults from the second litter first emerge in fall. In a 2-year
study in south-central Washington, first-litter subadults first emerged
in June, and second-litter subadults first emerged in October (1974) and
November (1975) [23].

As it signals the beginning of the breeding season, photoperiod may
often signal its end. In the laboratory, an artificial short day-long
night summer photoperiod caused gonadal shrinkage in Great Basin pocket
mice. A favorable diet apparently overrides this effect, however,
extending the breeding season. In nature, Great Basin pocket mice
remain reproductively active through fall in years of favorable plant
production. Juveniles typically breed in their second year, but
first-litter individuals may first reach breeding condition before
winter when plant productivity is high [27].
  • 20. Hall, E. Raymond. 1946. Mammals of Nevada. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 710 p. [13688]
  • 23. Hedlund, J. D.; Rogers, L. E. 1980. Great Basin pocket mice (Perognathus parvus) in the vicinity of radioactive waste management areas. Northwest Science. 54(2): 153-159. [26871]
  • 27. Kenagy, G. J.; Barnes, B. M. 1984. Environmental and endogenous control of reproductive function in the Great Basin pocket mouse Perognathus parvus. Biology of Reproduction. 31: 637-645. [26870]
  • 33. O'Farrell, Michael J. 1978. Home range dynamics of rodents in a sagebrush community. Journal of Mammalogy. 59(4): 657-668. [1788]
  • 34. O'Farrell, Thomas P.; Olson, Richard J.; Gilbert, Richard O.; Hedlund, John D. 1975. A population of Great Basin pocket mice, Perognathus parvus, in the shrub-steppe of south-central Washington. Ecological Monographs. 45: 1-28. [26872]
  • 38. Schreiber, R. Kent. 1978. Bioengergetics of the Great Basin pocket mouse, Perognathus parvus. Acta Theriologica. 23(32): 469-487. [26874]
  • 43. Whitaker, John O., Jr. 1980. National Audubon Society field guide to North American mammals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 745 p. [25194]

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Little above-ground activity occurs in November-March; during this time, long periods of torpor are presumed to alternate with arousal and eating periods. Also may become torpid in summer. Active within an hour after sunset.

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
5.8 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 5.8 years (captivity) Observations: One captive specimen lived 5.8 years (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Reproduction

Reproductively active spring-summer. Gestation probably lasts about 21-28 days; 0-3 litters/year, varies with precipitation. Number of fetuses/female ranges from 2 to 8 (average about 5). Young are weaned in about 3 weeks.

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From about late April to early August, males are in breeding condition, while females show the first sign of estrus in April. Early June is probably when breeding occurs at its peak. Pregnancies then occur from May to July. Gestation lasts 21 to 25 days. When there is an abundance of food, females have an average of two litters per year. Some have even been found to have three litters. Otherwise, an average of 1.1 litters is produced. Litters vary from three to eight mice. Juveniles born early in the season are able to breed themselves by late summer (Nowak 1991).

Average birth mass: 1.5 g.

Average gestation period: 24 days.

Average number of offspring: 4.8.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)

Sex: female:
100 days.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Perognathus parvus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There is 1 barcode sequence available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is the sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen.

Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.

AATCGTTGACTTTACTCAACTAATCACAAAGACATTGGCACTCTATACCTTCTATTTGGGGCATGAGCAGGGATAGTGGGAACAGGATTA---AGTATTTTAATTCGTGCTGAGCTTGGACAACCAGGAGCTTTACTAGGAGAT---GACCAAATTTACAACGTAATTGTAACTGCCCATGCATTCGTTATAATCTTCTTTATGGTAATACCTATTATAATTGGAGGATTTGGAAATTGATTAGTACCCCTAATA---ATTGGAGCCCCTGATATAGCATTTCCACGCATGAATAACATAAGCTTCTGACTTCTCCCCCCATCTTTCCTTCTACTATTAGCCTCATCCATAGTAGAAGCAGGTGCAGGAACTGGATGAACAGTCTACCCACCCTTAGCTGGAAACCTGGCCCATGCTGGAGCCTCTGTAGATCTT---ACTATTTTTTCTCTTCACTTAGCAGGAGTATCATCTATTCTGGGTGCTATCAACTTTATCACCACAATTGTTAATATAAAACCACCCGCAGTATCCCAATACCAAACACCTCTTTTTGTATGATCAGTTCTAATTACTGCCGTACTTCTTCTATTATCATTACCTGTACTAGCAGCA---GGAATCACTATACTTCTTACAGATCGTAATCTAAACACAACATTTTTCGATCCCTCTGGAGGAGGAGATCCAATCCTTTATCAACACCTATTCTGATTTTTTGGTCACCCAGAAGTATATATCCTTATCTTGCCTGGATTCGGCATTATCTCTCACATCGTAACTTACTATTCAGGTAAAAAA---GAACCCTTCGGCTATATAGGAATAGTCTGAGCAATAATATCAATTGGATTTTTAGGTTTTATTGTTTGAGCTCATCACATATTTACTGTAGGGATAGACGTTGATACACGAGCATATTTCACCTCAGCTACTATAATTATTGCTATTCCTACGGGTGTAAAAGTTTTTAGTTGACTG---GCTACC
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Perognathus parvus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N2 - Imperiled

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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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern because it is an abundant and widespread species with no major threats.
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More info for the term: natural

The Great Basin pocket mouse has been assigned a state rank of S2* by
the Montana Natural Heritage Program [37].

*imperiled because of rarity or other factors making it very vulnerable to
extinction
  • 37. Reichel, J. D. 1996. Montana animal species of special concern. [Unpublished list]

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Great Basin pocket mice are common and not endangered (Grzimek 1990). Because they are able to retreat to underground burrows, these mice are not in much immediate danger from fires in sagebrush and bunch grass habitats. However, fires reduce food resources and vegetative cover, making the mice more susceptible to predators (Bushey 1987).

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Population

Population
This species is considered secure within its range (NatureServe). Population density may reach 80/ha or more in years with abundant precipitation.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats to this species.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is not of conservation concern, and its range includes many protected areas.
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Management Considerations

More info for the term: competition

As scatterhoarders, Great Basin pocket mice and other heteromyids have
great ecological importance. Some native desert plant species including
Indian ricegrass, antelope bitterbrush, and palo verde (Cercidium
microphyllum) have no seed appendanges to facilitate dispersal, and
apparently require heteromyids for seed dispersal [29]. Many seed
caches of these granivores are not consumed, and unconsumed seed in
caches has a greater probability of germinating and establishing than
does uncached seed. McAdoo and Klebenow [32] found that Indian
ricegrass seeds from scatterhoards often had 100 percent germination.
This is probably because only seeds with filled seedcoats were cached,
and because seedcoats are often cracked and embryos germinate more
easily when seeds are handled by heteromyids. Furthermore,
scatterhoards are not vulnerable to bird and ant granivores [29].

Schreiber [38] concluded that Great Basin pocket mice probably do not
reduce cheatgrass importance in southeastern Washington even though they
consume large numbers of cheatgrass seeds. Surviving cheatgrass plants
have reduced competition for soil nutrients and water, and respond with
increased seed production.

Disturbance tends to favor Great Basin pocket mice, especially when the
disturbance favors growth of herbaceous species. In Oregon, Great Basin
pocket mouse populations were greater in logged than in unlogged forest
[4]. In southern Utah, populations were larger in pinyon-juniper
(Pinus-Juniperus spp.) chained and seeded to grasses than in untreated
pinyon-juniper [1]. Grass seeding attracts Great Basin pocket mice to
scattered seed and later, to new herbaceous growth [2].

Light- to moderate-intensity livestock grazing apparently does not
reduce Great Basin pocket mouse numbers. In Nevada, populations were
actually larger in riparian zones grazed by cattle than in ungrazed
riparian zones [9]. In northwestern Nevada, Oldemeyer and Allen-Johnson
[35] found no significant differences between in Great Basin pocket
mouse abundance on ungrazed sites and on an allotment subjected to
a light-to-moderate-use deferred grazing system.

REFERENCES :
  • 2. Benson, Patrick C. 1979. Land use and wildlife with emphasis on raptors. [Ogden, UT]
  • 1. Baker, M. F.; Frischknecht, N. C. 1973. Small mammals increase on recently cleared and seeded juniper rangeland. Journal of Range Management. 26(2): 101-103. [5754]
  • 4. Black, H. C.; Hooven, E. H. 1974. Response of small-mammal communities to habitat changes in western Oregon. In: Black, Hugh C., ed. Wildlife and forest management in the Pacific Northwest: Proceedings of a symposium; 1973 September 11-12; Corvallis, OR. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University, School of Forestry, Forest Research Laboratory: 177-186. [8005]
  • 9. Clary, Warren P.; Medin, Dean E. 1992. Vegetation, breeding bird, and small mammal biomass in two high-elevation sagebrush riparian habitats. In: Clary, Warren P.; McArthur, E. Durant; Bedunah, Don; Wambolt, Carl L., compilers. Proceedings--symposium on ecology and management of riparian shrub communities; 1991 May 29-31; Sun Valley, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-289. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 100-110. [19103]
  • 29. Longland, William S. 1994. Seed use by desert granivores. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Kitchen, Stanley G., compilers. Proceedings--ecology and management of annual rangelands; 1992 May 18-22; Boise, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-313. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 233-237. [24288]
  • 32. McAdoo, J. Kent; Klebenow, Donald A. 1979. Native faunal relationships in sagebrush ecosystems. In: The sagebrush ecosystem: a symposium: Proceedings; 1978 April; Logan, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources: 50-61. [1562]
  • 35. Oldemeyer, John L.; Allen-Johnson, Lydia R. 1988. Cattle grazing and small mammals on the Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada. In: Szaro, Robert C.; Severson, Kieth E.; Patton, David R., technical coordinators. Management of amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals in North America: Proceedings of the symposium; 1988 July 19-21; Flagstaff, AZ. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-166. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 391-398. [7128]
  • 38. Schreiber, R. Kent. 1978. Bioengergetics of the Great Basin pocket mouse, Perognathus parvus. Acta Theriologica. 23(32): 469-487. [26874]

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Wikipedia

Great Basin pocket mouse

The Great Basin pocket mouse (Perognathus parvus) is a species of rodent in the family Heteromyidae.[2][3][4][5] It is found in British Columbia in Canada and the western United States.[1]

Taxonomy[edit]

There are several subspecies of P. parvus. Sulentich[6] and Genoways and Brown[2] classify the yellow-eared pocket mouse as P. p. xanthonus Grinell, a subspecies of the Great Basin pocket mouse. However, Jones and others[4] classify the yellow-eared pocket mouse as a distinct species, P. xanthonotus (Grinnell).

Distribution[edit]

The Great Basin pocket mouse occurs in the Columbia River Basin and the Great Basin and adjacent lands. It is distributed from south-central British Columbia and eastern Washington south to southeastern California, Nevada and northern Arizona, and east to southeastern Montana and Wyoming.[7][8] Distribution of subspecies is:[2][3]

  • Perognathus parvus bullatus: (Durrant and Lee) – central and east-central Utah
  • P. p. clarus (Goldman) – extreme southwestern Montana; southeastern Idaho; extreme north-central Utah; extreme southwestern Wyoming
  • P. p. columbianus (Merriam) – central and southern Washington
  • P. p. idahoensis (Goldman) – south-central Idaho
  • P. p. laingi (Anderson) – south-central British Columbia
  • P. p. lordi (Gray) – extreme south-central British Columbia; central and eastern Washington; northwestern Idaho
  • P. p. mollipilosus (Coues)[2][3] – south-central Oregon; north-central and northeastern California
  • P. p. olivaceus (Merriam) – most of Nevada; eastern California; extreme southeastern Oregon; southern Idaho; western Colorado; the most widely distributed subspecies
  • P. p. parvus (Peale)[3] – southeastern Washington; central and eastern Oregon
  • P. p. trumbullensis (Benson) – southern Colorado; northern Arizona
  • P. p. yakimensis (Broadbooks)[2][3] – south-central Washington

The yellow-eared pocket mouse occurs on the eastern slope of the Tehachapi Mountains in Kern County, California.[3][8] It is not certain whether its distribution is disjunct or joins that of P. parvus olivaceus.[2]

Plant communities[edit]

The Great Basin pocket mouse occupies steppes and open, arid shrublands and woodlands. It most commonly occurs in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia), and other desert shrublands, and in pinyon-juniper (Pinus-Juniperus spp.) woodland. On the eastern slope of the Cascade Range and the Sierra Nevada, it occurs in ponderosa pine (P. ponderosa) and Jeffrey pine (P. jefferyi) woodlands.[2] Riparian zones may have larger concentrations of Great Basin pocket mice than upland areas.[9][10]

Timing of major life events[edit]

In late fall and winter, Great Basin pocket mice remain in their burrows in a state of torpor.[11][12] They emerge from their burrows and mate in early spring.[8][11][12] Males emerge slightly before females. In south-central Washington, Great Basin pocket mice emerged from March to April.[13] Prebreeding enlargement of ovaries and testes begins in winter in the complete darkness of the burrow. Following emergence from the burrow, the lengthening photoperiod of spring apparently triggers final enlargement and development of gonads for breeding.[14] Access to succulent green vegetation in spring may enhance reproductive success of females. Captive female Great Basin pocket mice from eastern Washington fed lettuce and seeds had significantly larger ovaries than control females fed only seeds. Great Basin pocket mice remain reproductively active through summer. Females produce one or two litters per year. Most first litters are delivered in May and second litters in August.[8][15] Reports of average litter size have ranged from 3.9 in south-central Washington[15] to 5.6 in Nevada.[16] First-litter subadults first leave the natal burrow in early summer; subadults from the second litter first emerge in fall. In a 2-year study in south-central Washington, first-litter subadults first emerged in June, and second-litter subadults first emerged in October (1974) and November (1975).[13]

As it signals the beginning of the breeding season, photoperiod may often signal its end. In the laboratory, an artificial short day-long night summer photoperiod caused gonadal shrinkage in Great Basin pocket mice. A favorable diet apparently overrides this effect, however, extending the breeding season. In nature, Great Basin pocket mice remain reproductively active through fall in years of favorable plant production. Juveniles typically breed in their second year, but first-litter individuals may first reach breeding condition before winter when plant productivity is high.[14]

Great Basin pocket mice occupy open, arid terrain. They seek friable soil of a variety of textures for burrowing.[17][18][19]

Home ranges of 7,060 to 9,630 square feet (656–895 sq m) have been reported for Great Basin pocket mice in British Columbia. Males may have larger home ranges than females. Average home ranges reported from south-central Washington are 23,030 square feet (2,140 sq m) and 33,640 square feet (3,125 sq m) for adult males and 15,564 square feet (1,446 sq m) for adult females.[15] In big sagebrush habitat on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon, home ranges of adult males were significantly greater (p < 0.001) than home ranges of females. Reproductively active adult males had significantly (p < 0.05) larger home ranges than adult males with unenlarged testes. In black greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) habitat, however, there were no significant differences between male and female home ranges or between home ranges of reproductive and nonreproductive adult males.[20]

Cover requirements[edit]

Great Basin pocket mice are nocturnal and use burrows for daytime cover. They also use burrows during periods of winter and summer torpor.[8][15][21][22] The winter burrow consists of a 3- to 6-foot- (0.9–1.8 m-) deep tunnel leading to a chamber lined with dry vegetation. The summer burrow is shallow. Except for mothers with young, the burrow is occupied by a single individual.[8]

Food habits[edit]

Great Basin pocket mice consume primarily seeds, but eat some green vegetation.[11][12] Prior to production of seeds, they also consume insects.[23] Great Basin pocket mice do not use free water,[24] they metabolize water from food.[8] Pocket mice (Perognathus spp.) and other heteromyids are scatterhoarders, caching seeds in shallow depressions and covering the seeds with soil. The seeds are primarily those of grass species, and some preferred forb species. Indian ricegrass (Oryzopsis hymenoides),[25] cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), Russian-thistle (Salsola kali),[15] antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), pigweed (Amaranthus spp.), and mustard (Brassica spp.)[8] seeds are important Great Basin pocket mouse food items. In productive years, cheatgrass seeds formed a major portion of the diet of Great Basin pocket mice in southeastern Washington.[15]

Seeds of medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) were not used by Great Basin pocket mice in Lassen County, California, and areas with heavy medusahead invasion were avoided.[25]

Estimated seed intake of a Great Basin pocket mouse is from 4% to 10% of total body weight daily. Assuming a wholly cheatgrass diet, an individual requires 870 to 1,000 seeds per day in spring and summer, and about 750 seeds per day in fall. Estimated daily maintenance energy requirement ranges from a winter low of 2.4 kilocalories (males) and 2.6 kilocalories (females) to a high of 7.0 kilocalories (males) and 6.6 kilocalories (females) in spring. A total of about 1.8 to 2.1 ounces (50–60 g) of seed must be cached to meet the winter energy requirement.[15] To conserve energy when food is scarce in summer, Great Basin pocket mice often enter a state of torpor that lasts a few hours.[13][15]

Great Basin pocket mice are fairly successful at finding buried seed caches, even those buried by other individuals. In a laboratory experiment, Great Basin pocket mice found Indian ricegrass seeds 17.5% of the time when researchers cached seeds 1.3 centimeters below ground; 42.5% of the time when seeds were cached 0.6 centimeter below ground; and 100% of the time when seeds were scattered on the soil surface.[26]

Predators[edit]

Owls (Tytonidae and Strigidae),[8] including Northern Saw-whet Owls (Aegolius acadicus)[9] and Burrowing Owls (Speotyto cunicularia)[27] hawks (Accipitridae),[8] coyotes (Canis latrans),[28][29] foxes (Vulpes and Urocyon spp.), weasels and skunks (Mustelidae), and snakes[8] prey on Great Basin pocket mice.

References[edit]

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

  1. ^ a b c Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) (2008). Perognathus parvus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 22 January 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Williams, Daniel F.; Genoways, Hugh H.; Braun, Janet K. 1993. Taxonomy. In: Genoways, Hugh H.; Brown, James H. (eds.) Biology of the Heteromyidae. Special Publication No. 10. The American Society of Mammalogists: 38–196
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hall, E. Raymond. 1981. The mammals of North America. 2nd ed. Volume I. New York: John Wiley & Sons
  4. ^ a b Jones, J. Knox, Jr.; Hoffmann, Robert S.; Rice, Dale W.; 1992. Revised checklist of North American mammals north of Mexico, 1991. Occasional Papers No. 146. Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University, The Museum.
  5. ^ Hafner, John C.; Hafner, Mark S. (1983). "Evolutionary relationships of Heteromyid rodents". Great Basin Naturalist 7: 3–29. 
  6. ^ Sulentich, J. M. 1983. The systematics and evolution of the Perognathus parvus species group in southern California. Long Beach, CA: California State University.
  7. ^ 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
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Whitaker, John O., Jr. (1980). National Audubon Society field guide to North American mammals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc ISBN 0394507630
  9. ^ a b Cannings, Richard J. 1987. The breeding biology of northern saw-whet owls in southern British Columbia. In: Nero, Robert W.; Clark, Richard J.; Knapton, Richard J.; Hamre, R. H., eds. Biology and conservation of northern forest owls: Symposium proceedings; 1987 February 3–7; Winnipeg, MB. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-142. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 193–198.
  10. ^ Clary, Warren P.; Medin, Dean E. 1992. Vegetation, breeding bird, and small mammal biomass in two high-elevation sagebrush riparian habitats. In: Clary, Warren P.; McArthur, E. Durant; Bedunah, Don; Wambolt, Carl L., compilers. Proceedings—symposium on ecology and management of riparian shrub communities; 1991 May 29–31; Sun Valley, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-289. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 100–110
  11. ^ a b c O'Farrell, Michael J. (1978). "Home range dynamics of rodents in a sagebrush community". Journal of Mammalogy 59 (4): 657–668. doi:10.2307/1380131. JSTOR 1380131. 
  12. ^ a b c O'Farrell, Thomas P.; Olson, Richard J.; Gilbert, Richard O.; Hedlund, John D. (1975). "A population of Great Basin pocket mice, Perognathus parvus, in the shrub-steppe of south-central Washington". Ecological Monographs 45: 1–28. doi:10.2307/1942329. JSTOR 1942329. 
  13. ^ a b c Hedlund, J. D.; Rogers, L. E. (1980). "Great Basin pocket mice (Perognathus parvus) in the vicinity of radioactive waste management areas". Northwest Science 54 (2): 153–159. 
  14. ^ a b Kenagy, G. J.; Barnes, B. M. (1984). "Environmental and endogenous control of reproductive function in the Great Basin pocket mouse Perognathus parvus". Biology of Reproduction 31 (4): 637–645. doi:10.1095/biolreprod31.4.637. PMID 6509135. 
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Schreiber, R. Kent (1978). "Bioengergetics of the Great Basin pocket mouse, Perognathus parvus". Acta Theriologica 23 (32): 469–487. 
  16. ^ Hall, E. Raymond. 1946. Mammals of Nevada. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press
  17. ^ Black, Hal L.; Frischknecht, Neil C. 1971. Relative abundance of mice on seeded sagebrush-grass range in relation to grazing. Res. Note INT-147. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
  18. ^ Hedlund, J. D.; Rickard, W. H. (1981). "Wildfire and the short-term response of small mammals inhabiting a sagebrush-bunchgrass community". Murrelet 62: 10–14. doi:10.2307/3534441. JSTOR 3534441. 
  19. ^ Verner, Jared; Boss, Allan S., tech. coords. 1980. California wildlife and their habitats: western Sierra Nevada. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-37. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station
  20. ^ Feldhamer, George A. (1979). "Home range relationships of three rodent species in southeast Oregon". Murrelet 60 (2): 50–57. doi:10.2307/3535769. JSTOR 3535769. 
  21. ^ Maser, Chris; Thomas, Jack Ward; Anderson, Ralph G. 1984. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands—the Great Basin of southeastern Oregon: The relat. of terrestrial vertebrates to plant communities: Part 2. Appendices. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-172. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station; Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
  22. ^ McAdoo, J. Kent; Klebenow, Donald A. 1979. Native faunal relationships in sagebrush ecosystems. In: The sagebrush ecosystem: a symposium: Proceedings; 1978 April; Logan, UT. Logan, UT: Utah State University, College of Natural Resources: 50–61
  23. ^ Dunigan, P. F. X., Jr.; Lei, W.; Rickard, W. H. (1980). "Pocket mouse population response to winter precipitation and drought". Northwest Science 54 (4): 289–295. 
  24. ^ Price, M. V.; Brown, J. H. (1983). "Patterns of morphology and resource use in North American desert rodent communities". Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs 7: 117–134. 
  25. ^ a b Longland, William S. 1994. Seed use by desert granivores. In: Monsen, Stephen B.; Kitchen, Stanley G., compilers. Proceedings—ecology and management of annual rangelands; 1992 May 18–22; Boise, ID. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-313. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station: 233–237
  26. ^ Johnson, Terrell K.; Jorgensen, Clive D. (1981). "Ability of desert rodents to find buried seeds". Journal of Range Management 34 (4): 312–314. doi:10.2307/3897858. JSTOR 3897858. 
  27. ^ Henny, Charles J.; Blus, Lawrence J. (1981). "Artificial burrows provide new insight into burrowing owl nesting biology". Raptor Research 15 (3): 82–85. 
  28. ^ Edwards, Loren Lee. 1975. Home range of the coyote in southern Idaho. Pocatello, ID: Idaho State University, Thesis
  29. ^ Springer, Joseph Tucker (1982). "Movement patterns of coyotes in south central Washington". Journal of Wildlife Management 46 (1): 191–200. doi:10.2307/3808422. JSTOR 3808422. 
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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Perognathus xanthonotus is here regarded as a subspecies of P. parvus. Williams et al. (1993) and Jones et al. (1997) concluded that xanthonotus does not warrant recognition as a distinct species. Patton (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) included xanthonotus as a subspecies of P. parvus.

See Best (1994) for a key to the species of Perognathus.

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The scientific name of the Great Basin pocket mouse is Perognathus
parvus (Peale). It is in the family Heteromyidae [18,19,21,26].
Subspecies of the Great Basin pocket mouse are:

P. p. bullatus Durrant and Lee
P. p. clarus Goldman
P. p. columbianus Merriam
P. p. idahoensis Goldman
P. p. laingi Anderson
P. p. lordi (Gray)
P. p. mollipilosus Coues [18,21]
P. p. olivaceus Merriam
P. p. parvus (Peale) [21]
P. p. trumbullensis Benson
P. p. yakimensis Broadbooks [18,21]

Sulentich [41] and Genoways and Brown [18] classify the yellow-eared
pocket mouse as P. p. xanthonus Grinell, a subspecies of the Great
pocket mouse. However, Jones and others [26] classify the yellow-eared
pocket mouse as a distinct species, P. xanthonotus (Grinnell).
  • 18. Williams, Daniel F.; Genoways, Hugh H.; Braun, Janet K. 1993. Taxonomy. In: Genoways, Hugh H.; Brown, James H., eds. Biology of the Heteromyidae. Special Publication No. 10. [Place of publication unknown]
  • 21. Hall, E. Raymond. 1981. The mammals of North America. 2nd ed. Volume I. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 600 p. [26447]
  • 19. Hafner, John C.; Hafner, Mark S. 1983. Evolutionary relationships of Heteromyid rodents. Great Basin Naturalist. 7: 3-29. [26869]
  • 26. Jones, J. Knox, Jr.; Hoffmann, Robert S.; Rice, Dale W.; [and others]
  • 41. Sulentich, J. M. 1983. The systematics and evolution of the Perognathus parvus species group in southern California. Long Beach, CA: California State University. 85 p. Thesis. [27111]

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Common Names

Great Basin pocket mouse

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