Ending with a Bang

Six pups are stuffed in here!

Six pups are stuffed in here!

Our litters keep getting bigger. On August 28, 2013, our last pregnant female Pacific pocket mouse of the season gave birth, but the nest was so full of nesting material that the number of pups couldn’t be determined.

September 16, 2013, brought exciting news. As pups started emerging from the nest, we found out just how many had been hiding: five! If only every litter was this big, we would reach our goal number for reintroduction.

Today they are doing very well; they are bold little guys that aren’t scared of our predator stimuli. With this litter, we added three males and two females to the group. Yesterday they got new neighbors to associate with.

A Pacific pocket mouse pup has its first molt.

A Pacific pocket mouse pup has its first molt.

Now it’s down to planning for next season. We will examine behaviors during previous pairings and refine our pairing strategies to increase our success.

Amaranta Kozuch is a senior research technician at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. Read her previous post, Pocket Mouse “Pupdate.”

2 Responses to Ending with a Bang

  1. If you will respond,

    I couldn’t tell but did this or could this happen inside a tortoise burrow?

    Thank you for the work you are doing You are definitely making a difference in the world

    God bless you all

    • Hi Rita,
      No, this is not inside a tortoise burrow. These animals were born into our off-site facility where they are provided with an artificial burrow; you are seeing this artificial burrow. To my knowledge there isn’t a documented case of Pacific pocket mice using tortoise burrows for their own. Thank you for your interest in the project and your words of praise. Keep posted for more updates on the project especially as we enter a new breeding season!

      Thank you,
      Amaranta Kozuch
      Sr. Research Technician