Beach Mice Provide Big Benefit at the National Seashore
Gulf Breeze, Fla. – Many species are critical to the barrier island ecosystem preserved at Gulf Islands National Seashore. These species play an often unseen role in safeguarding the incredible beauty and recreational opportunity millions of people come to visit each year. The perdido key beach mouse is a small species, but it provides a big benefit to park beaches.
To celebrate and to raise awareness of that role, Gulf Islands National Seashore is unveiling its third resource education car magnet, joining a collection that includes the annual shorebird and sea turtle magnets. These new magnets feature the perdido key beach mouse and the message that while small, the mouse has a big impact on the dune communities it calls home. Visitors and locals can show their support for the beach mouse and help remind others to reduce their outdoor light use even after sea turtle nesting season ends. Beginning Friday, October 4, magnets will be available for pick up at the Perdido Key Entrance Station and Fort Pickens Discovery Center.
The perdido key beach mouse only live on Perdido Key, a barrier island that straddles the Florida and Alabama boundary. These beach mice are mainly found in the Perdido Key Area of the national seashore, Gulf State Park, and Perdido Key State Park. These mice inhabit beach dunes and coastal scrub habitats where they dig burrows to rest, raise young and store food.
These mice emerge from burrows at night to feed on the seeds, sometimes when left uneaten, these seeds will grow into plants that help stabilize dunes. Beach mice pair for life and breeding peaks during the winter months. Though the perdido key beach mouse once occupied the entire length of Perdido Key, approximately nine fragmented miles of habitat remain.
In addition to the new magnet, the park is also releasing a new educational rack card for visitors to learn more. The magnet and rack card were collaboratively developed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. More information about the perdido key beach mouse can be found on the park website https://www.nps.gov/guis/learn/nature/pk-beach-mouse.htm.
About Gulf Islands National Seashore: Created in 1971, the national seashore stretches 160 miles along the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and Mississippi, and includes barrier islands, maritime forests, historic forts, bayous, and marine habitat. Visit us at www.nps.gov/guis, on Facebook www.facebook.com/GulfIslandsNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/GulfIslandsNPS, and Instagram www.Instagram.com/GulfIslandsNPS.
Gulf Islands National Seashore
1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, FL 32563