The salt marsh harvest mouse is a tiny rodent species endemic to the San Francisco Bay Area. It has suffered heavily due to habitat loss and fragmentation due to urbanization and conversion of land for other uses, which has contributed to the species being listed under the endangered species act. We are conducting genetic research on the species to aid conservation efforts.
We recently received a mouse that was recovered during ongoing monitoring efforts by management agencies. Luis Hernandez and I used this unfortunate event to improve our scientific understanding of the species.
We dissected the animal to recover tissue and organs for our genetic analyses, as well as to store for future study. Hopefully this work will improve our understanding of adaptations associated with coping with differences in salinity in diet and water source throughout the Bay Area. This is particularly important in view of anticipated sea level rise, and precipitation changes associated with climate change.