The Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse

1633 Words Nov 18th, 2016 7 Pages
The salt marsh harvest mouse is listed as an endangered species in 1970s. Its phylogeny is of the Kingdom Animalia, the Phylum Chordata, the Class Mammalia, the Order Rodentia, the Family Cricetidae, the Genus Reithrodontomys, and the Species raviventris. The closest living relative of the salt marsh harvest mouse, according to genetic mapping, is the plains harvest mouse, R. montanus, a western interior species that are found in Mexico and central US. Within the species of R. raviventris there are the northern subspecies, R. r. halicoetes, and southern subspecies, R. r. raviventris both of which reside in Northern California around the Bay area. The northern subspecies can be found in the San Pablo and Suisun marshes of California, whereas the southern variant reside in the marshes of Corte Madera, Richmond and South San Francisco Bay. Salt marsh harvest mice heavily depend on dense coverage of the pickleweed (Salicornia virginica)--their preferred habitat. In marshes with salt-tolerant plants, the mice escape the higher tides in winter through the use of said vegetation and sometimes reside in the plants for a good amount of their lives. Mice also migrate to neighboring grasslands as another way of escape during high winter tides. The mice are presumed to sustain themselves on plant leaves, seeds and stems. In winter, they seem to prefer fresh green grasses. As for the other three seasons, they tend to favor pickleweed and saltgrass. The northern subspecies of the…

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