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Locals in Peril!

The Anastasia Island Beach Mouse

*Anastasia Island Beach Mouse 6/6/18 courtesy of the FWC

When people think of our city, much beauty comes to mind. From the art and architecture of the Historic Downtown District to the scenic coastline, St. Augustine is in no shortage of breathtaking sights. Often overlooked however is one of our most iconic St. Augustinian natives, the Anastasia Island Beach Mouse.

The endangered Anastasia Island Beach Mouse makes its home among the ancient dunes bordering the beach, feeding off insects, seeds and dune vegetation. The FNAI, Florida Natural Areas Inventory, lists the beach mouse as critically imperiled in its natural habitat.

A subspecies of the old-field mouse, the Anastasia Island Beach Mouse is minuscule, reaching only five and a half inches in length when fully grown. Yellowish-brown in color with a white underbelly, this little friend’s natural habitat is being steadily eroded away. The continued development of beachfront property and recurring hurricanes degrade the dunes that the beach mouse calls home, fragmenting and isolating their populations and forcing them to migrate further north into the Anastasia State Park. As the dunes continue to suffer damage, and their vegetation is damaged alongside it, the state park is quickly becoming the mouse’s only safe sanctuary, along with the nearby Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. The beach mouse faces another threat daily: cats. House cats that roam outdoors, as well as strays, are a large threat to the Anastasia Island Beach Mouse. 

How Can We Help?

While many house kitties prefer to dwell both in and outdoors, keeping them inside during the evenings and at night when the beach mouse is most active can help this little guy stay safe exponentially. 

Anastasia State Park offers a wide variety of volunteer programs from conservation efforts like beach cleanup to assisting in the education of park-goers. Each volunteer helps stave off the extinction of the Anastasia Island Beach Mouse, and every furry friend helped is another St. Augustinian saved.

To volunteer or donate to the Anastasia State Park, click here.

The Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve also offers conservation opportunities, such as educational summer camps and their Adopt a Nest program, where you can adopt and help protect a sea turtle nest.

To volunteer or donate to the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Reserve, click here.

The Anastasia Island Beach Mouse is our friend, and our friend needs help. It is our job to look after our wildlife, because our wildlife is just as St. Augustinian as we are. Don’t forget your neighbors, or your neighbors might disappear. Volunteer or donate today, and together we can make our town a paradise for us all.

Photos courtesy of our friends at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Show your support for our wildlife by giving the FWC a like on its Facebook pages, found here and here!

To volunteer or donate to the FWC, click here!

*Anastasia Island Beach Mouse 6/6/18 courtesy of the FWC

From the team at Century 21 Saltwater Property Group, thank you for your time. 

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