Dr. Paul Stapp‘s Mammalogy from Cal State Fullerton is trapping rodents at the BFS this week and caught a Western Harvest Mouse (Reithrodontomys megalotis), in their trapping grid in the SW part of the station (near the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden). This species has not been seen at BFS since 1990, so we’re glad to report it’s still here.
Dr. Stapp says, “At 9-12 g, this is the smallest mouse on the site and prefers grassy habitats (though probably not the rank swards of exotics in the East Field). They are reportedly granivores, but they are opportunistic in their diet, eating some small insects. Harvest mice are not uncommon regionally but certainly have lost habitat with urban development, exotic grass invasion, and the presence of cats. It was great to see them here and a nice surprise, given how shrubby most of the site has become. That SW corner is really special.”