Western Harvest Mouse

Reithrodontomys megalotis megalotis

Status

Special Concern (Federal)
Blue Listed (Provincial)

Description

The Western Harvest Mouse is a very small mouse, averaging 13.6 cm in body length, half of which is its tail, and weighing about 22 g. Its back is brownish in color and has a dark stripe running from its head to the base of its tail. The back feet are white, the belly white or grey, and the cheeks and sides are grey-brown in color. The ears are hairless, and the tail is grey on top and white below with few hairs.

Habitat

Grassland
Open Forest
Shrub-steppe
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Harvest Mice prefer thick, herbaceous cover and are often found in dry, hot valley bottoms where Antelope-brush and sagebrush grow. They have also been found to inhabit dry gullies with dense cover, apple orchards, Ponderosa Pine forests, and grassy areas at the edge of cultivated fields. If there is enough grass and shrub cover present, they may sometimes be found in grazed habitats.

Threats

-Habitat loss due to fragmentation, cultivation, agricultural activities, and urbanization
-Intensive livestock grazing
-Creation of new roads represent a significant barrier to dispersal and movement
-Rodenticide (rat poison) use
-Predation by domestic and feral pets

You Can Help!

-Protect and conserve habitat
-Reduce livestock grazing
-Avoid using rodenticides unless absolutely unavoidable
-Keep pets indoors

Resources

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