"The Southeastern beach mouse lives in burrows in the sand dunes and comes out at night to eat beach grasses and some invertebrates. Beach mice use burrows, including those of ghost crabs, for temporary cover. Their light coloration camouflages them against the sand. Because of loss of beach habitat, the
southeastern beach mouse is a threatened species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It formerly occurred on the Atlantic Coast from Ponce Inlet in Volusia County south to Hollywood Beach in Broward County, but the Atlantic coast has undergone such extensive development, populations of this mouse have drastically decreased. For any species it is dangerous to have your range so limited. The dune system in which the mouse lives is vulnerable to ocean surges from storms. Natural disturbances such as hurricanes could threaten the already precarious position of the Southeastern beach mouse. The Canaveral National Seashore and adjacent lands are important areas for the survival of this mouse.
Like most small mammals, the beach mouse has a high reproductive rate; however, it is heavily preyed upon by raccoons, skunks, snakes, hawks and owls. Even Great blue herons have
been seen eating them. Dogs and house cats also prey on these mice in places where homes are on the beach." - An excerpt from Paradise Preserved a natural history guide to the Canaveral National Seashore & Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge written by Dr. Debra Green. This is the third book in the series and was supported by a grant from Eastern National. To purchase copy of this book, contact Sabal Press, PO Box 916631, Longwood, FL 32791, http:/www.sabalpress.com.