Floridian Nature

Learn about Florida's beautiful and unique nature.

Florida Nature: Endangered Mammals (5)
florida field mouseFlorida Mouse (Podomys floridanus) SSC- The Florida Mouse, sometimes called the gopher mouse, is found only in Florida on sandy beaches and scrub-brush. In fact, the Florida Mouse is the only mammal that is limited to Florida. The Gopher Tortoise makes its home here in burrows, and the Florida Mouse uses the tortoise burrow, making its home in a corridor off of the main route for the tortoise. If a tortoise burrow is not available, the Florida Mouse will often use a discarded burrow of the oldfield mouse. The mouse is nocturnal, using cover of darkness to escape from predators and is active all year. Even though it is considered large for its species, the Florida Mouse is small, only growing to an average length of 5-8 inches, with a long tail that usually attains a length of 3-5 inches. Florida mice have a distinctive odor, almost like a skunk.

Florida Mastiff bat, an endangered bat in the state of FloridaFlorida Mastiff Bat (Eumops glaucinus floridanus) Endangered- A large bat, The Florida mastiff bat measures between 4.9 -6.5 inches. This bat a a black, grey-brown, or cinnamon brown upper side,  and a greyish underside, The Florida mastiff bat is short haired and has a long tail, extending beyond the membrane for half it's length. Found in Southern Florida, mainly in Broward, Miami-Dade, Collier, and Monroe counties, this bat roosts in  palms and hollow trees, and in buildings. The Florida mastiff bat emerges to forage much later than most bats, leaving well after dark. They seldom forage lower than 30 feet. These bats can take flight from horizontal surfaces, a feat most of our bats can't do easily.

the gray bat, an endangered species in the state of FloridaGray Bat (Myotis grisescens) Endangered- Gray bats are distinguished from other bats by the uncolored fur on their back. In addition, following their molt in July or August, gray bats have dark gray fur which often bleaches to a chestnut brown or russet. They weigh 7-16 grams. The bat's wing membrane connects to its ankle instead of at the toe, where it is connected in other species of Myotis. The federally endangered gray bat  is one of a few species that live in caves year-round. Most of Florida's gray bat population is found in Jackson County, on the Florida/Georgia border west of Tallahassee. The foraging habitat of gray bats is over riparian areas (river banks) and often over water. The gray bat eats a variety of flying aquatic and terrestrial insects present along rivers or lakes.

indiana bat, an endangered bat in the state of FloridaIndiana Bat (Myotis sodalis) Endangered- The Indiana bat is a small bat, less than 2 inches in length, with dark gray to brownish black fur. Characteristics that help distinguish it from similar species include a pinkish nose, small hind feet with sparse, short hairs that do not extend beyond the toes, and a calcar (the spur extending from the ankle) that has a slight keel. Its hair is less glossy in appearance than that of little brown bats. The Indiana bat is found throughout much of the eastern United States from Oklahoma, Iowa, and Wisconsin, east to Vermont and south to northwestern Florida. Indiana bats mate in the fall and begin entering hibernation in October. Males tend to be active longer in the fall, but are hibernating by late November. During hibernation, Indiana bats cluster tightly together and, as a result, are sometimes called the social bat.

Florida salt marsh vole, an endangered animal in the state of FloridaFlorida Salt marsh Vole
(Microtus pennsylvanicus dukecampbelli) Endangered-The Florida salt marsh vole is a small, short-tailed rodent with a blunt head and short ears. Its fur is black-brown dorsally and dark gray ventrally. It is closely related to the meadow vole, but can be distinguished by its larger size, darker coloration, relatively small ears, and by certain skull characteristics. Voles can be active during days and nights, and they spend most of their time feeding on grasses, seeds, and probably some insects. The Florida salt marsh vole seems to prefer areas in the salt marsh dominated by seashore salt grass, especially where this grass is tall and dense. The voles form runways beneath the tall grass and are rarely, if ever seen. While voles are excellent swimmers, it is assumed they survive long periods of high water by clinging to the tops of vegetation. Voles have a life span of only six months, and they begin breeding at two months of age. The salt marsh vole is so rare that before April of this year only 15 individuals of this subspecies had been found in the last 22 years, all at one site near Cedar Key, Florida. Since 1982, efforts by numerous researchers have been unable to document voles anywhere else within Florida’s Big Bend region.

Sherman's short-tailed shrew, found in FloridaSherman’s Short-Tailed Shrew (Blarina carolonensis shermani) SSC- The Sherman short-tailed Shrew is found in southwestern Florida. It is dark  gray, 3.5-5 inches long, and has a short (.5-1") tail. Diet of the Sherman's short-tailed shrew includes small snakes, mice, snails, slugs, centipedes, millipedes, insects, spiders, and earthworms. This shrew's saliva is poisonous, allowing it to prey on animals much larger than itself.
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