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.
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.”