Completed: Jan 01, 2005

Pacific Pocket Mouse

Research and monitoring to support recovery of endangered populations


Wayne Spencer, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist | Head of Science Leadership Team

The critically endangered Pacific pocket mouse (Perognathus longimembris pacificus), once thought extinct was rediscovered at 4 sites along the coast of southern California during the 1990s.  CBI staff discovered one of the populations and led comprehensive efforts to identify all potential habitat areas and inform efforts to recover the species from the brink of extinction.  Tasks included:

1) Studying dispersal characteristics and other pertinent biological information on the species

2) Performing detailed field studies of a surrogate subspecies to perfect field methods and design monitoring programs

3) Determining the feasibility of a translocation or reintroduction program for the species, determining baseline measures of genetic diversity within and between extant (using live-captured specimens) and historic (using museum specimens) populations and developing genetic goals for the recovery program

4) Coordinating ongoing monitoring studies at extant population sites to maximize the value of the monitoring data for both scientific and preserve management goals

Partners include Transportation Corridor Agencies, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and California Department of Fish and Game.

Photo credits:  Steve Montgomery (juvenile above) and David King (1995, Camp Pendleton)

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