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Mice: The Striped Mouse

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fevertree
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Mice: The Striped Mouse

Unread postby fevertree » Fri May 27, 2005 11:14 am

The Striped Mouse, is an endearing rodent which I have discovered has an amazing homing instinct/mechanism.
The Lowveld seems to be having a rodent population explosion at the moment, and needless to say, my house is also being targeted by them.
Not wanting to kill animals, I set live traps for them in the house ( a steel cage with a flap door that is activated by touching a pressure plate).
Yesteday, I caught a Striped Mouse in the trap, and noticed that he had a very specific notch in his ear. The trap is made of solid metal, so there is no chance for the mouse to have seen the sun, or picked up visual cues as to where he was being taken to be released. I released him over 200 m away from the house ( which I think is quite far in mouse steps!). Within 20 minutes, I saw him coming in through the front door again. I believe this to be an amazing homing instinct in such a small mammal, especially considering that he had no visual clue as to where he was when he was released, but the fact that he was back within 20 minutes, meant that he made a bee line straight back to the house without wandering around aimlessly.
By the way, the rodent explosion is resulting in some great raptor sightings in the area and some beautiful owl sightings at night.
A Leopard in a Fevertree, one day......

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Unread postby DuQues » Fri May 27, 2005 11:17 am

Maybe it has little ones to go back to?
Also do not forget that mice have a very good nose, maybe place it upwind from your house next time?
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Unread postby Laine » Fri May 27, 2005 11:18 am

that is very interesting Fevertree..... and so cute!! :D

i love mice and when i lived on the coast i had a shrew who lived in my kitchen....he/she knew about me and i knew about her/him...we co existed quite pleasantly.... :wink:

i was just about to say must make for interesting birdlife when i see u already noted that.....

:D

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Unread postby Laine » Fri May 27, 2005 11:19 am

just to add....amazingly rats give me the heebie jeebies!!!

:? :?

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Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri May 27, 2005 11:24 am

I have seen on TV that mice urinates to find their way around. What was also interesting was the fact that certain owls would see the urinated areas asif you were holding a white item under a black light. Illuminated like a Sandton raver on a friday night.

Unless your mouse urinated all the way I wouldn't know how he found his way back.

Wish I could see the raptor and owl population booming as a result of this mouse investitation.
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Unread postby fevertree » Fri May 27, 2005 11:38 am

To be honest guys, this so amazed me that I am now conducting a little experiment. Two more mice that I caught last night I marked with little felt pen marks on their bellies, just a dot or two.( did not want to mark them on their back, as that may make them more visible to predators). I released them ,and am waiting to see if I recatch them in the trap as well. Will try releasing them in different spots relative to wind etc and see how they respond. Will keep you posted.
A Leopard in a Fevertree, one day......

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Re: mice

Unread postby wildtuinman » Fri May 27, 2005 11:43 am

fevertree wrote:To be honest guys, this so amazed me that I am now conducting a little experiment. Two more mice that I caught last night I marked with little felt pen marks on their bellies, just a dot or two.( did not want to mark them on their back, as that may make them more visible to predators). I released them ,and am waiting to see if I recatch them in the trap as well. Will try releasing them in different spots relative to wind etc and see how they respond. Will keep you posted.


Interesting stuff, thanks fevertree!
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Re: mice

Unread postby Laine » Fri May 27, 2005 11:47 am

fevertree wrote:To be honest guys, this so amazed me that I am now conducting a little experiment. Two more mice that I caught last night I marked with little felt pen marks on their bellies, just a dot or two.( did not want to mark them on their back, as that may make them more visible to predators). I released them ,and am waiting to see if I recatch them in the trap as well. Will try releasing them in different spots relative to wind etc and see how they respond. Will keep you posted.


BRILLIANT FEVERTREE!! oh goody...our first forum experiment.....please keep us posted and tell us whether dot and dotty found their way back!!
:D

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Unread postby Loams » Sun Jun 05, 2005 10:00 pm

And? How did the experiment go? I presume you haven't caught them back yet?

We also having a bit of a mouse thing in my suburb and it's causing a cat explosion, my two cats are fatter than ever ;-)
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Unread postby fevertree » Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:29 am

Hi Loams,
The experiment did not deliver any further amazing findings - my marked animals were not recaught - yet, however, I have probably caught another 20 since then!!!!
A Leopard in a Fevertree, one day......

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Unread postby restio » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:11 pm

After three years of good rains, there's been a rodent explosion in KTP too! Here's a picture of a cute striped mouse in a tsamma melon on the Nossob road:

Image
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Mouse ID help

Unread postby arks » Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:36 pm

Can anyone tell me what sort of mouse this might be? See in West Coast NP on 3 December 2009. (They were fun to watch, but very hard to photograph!)

Image
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Re: Mouse ID help

Unread postby Boorgatspook » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:29 am

Hi Arks,
It looks like a Striped Mouse to me, but I'm not 100% certain....

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Re: Mouse ID help

Unread postby arks » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:16 pm

Thanks, BGS, that would be my guess, too, but I'm hoping that someone here may know for certain — or have a rodent ID book? :wink:

(Mice and rats are not included in my mammal book :( )
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Re: Mouse ID help

Unread postby Mant » Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:32 am

Hi Arks,

It is a Striped Mouse. The scientific name is Rhabdomys pumilio.

Here is some info on it:

The Striped Mouse, so named because of the four longitudinal black stripes down its back, is an opportunistic omnivore, and has a varied diet. In certain areas they are mainly granivorous, while in others they may eat more plant material than seeds. They also enjoy a wide variety of other vegetable matter and insects. The striped mouse helps to pollenate many protea species, as pollen clings to its head while it is feeding. When the mouse moves off to feed on other neighboring flowers of the same species, it carries the pollen with it, thus assisting in the fertilization of these flowers. They normally excavate a burrow at the base of a grass thicket, ensuring that the entrance is well hidden, and lining the chambers of their burrows with soft, leafy debris; alternatively, they construct a ground-level nest under cover of dense stands of tall grass.

Striped Mouse forage by day, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon, and are often seen among the tall grasses growing on the perimeter of cultivated land. In central Africa, where striped mice are also found, they breed throughout the year, but in the south the breeding season is usually confined to the summer months (September to May). During the breeding season the adult females appear to be territorial, with limited home ranges which probably overlap the large home ranges of the males. There are from 2 - 9 young per litter.

Here is the URL to a pic of the Striped Mouse.

http://www.botany.uwc.ac.za/envfacts/fynbos/streepie.htm

Samantha :)


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