Mouse Hunt: Urban Mouse Project at City Parks Studies Critters

Editor | - April 24, 2012

"Country mouse vs. city mouse..."

From a City of Santa Fe news release

Boxes collecting data on the quality of urban and forest habitats will be placed randomly in different parks throughout the summer. City of Santa Fe Parks Division is asking residents to be aware and not disturb boxes, clearly labeled "URBAN MOUSE PROJECT-SANTA FE – PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB."

The Urban Mouse Project will compare the behavior and ecology of native mice (genus Peromyscus) between the City of Santa Fe Parks Division and the surrounding forested areas. The project is led by Gizelle Hurtado, graduate student at New Mexico State University. “We are interested in how mice cope with living in the city, and how mice move through parks and greenways," she said. "We hope that wild mice will serve as a model species to help park managers and urban planners make future management decisions in urban parks with the needs of wildlife in mind."

The main goals of this project are to:

·Determine if mice living in the city and forest differ in the response to predators.

·Determine the small mammal diversity in urban parks and forested areas.

·Determine how mice move from the forest to the city and through the city.

·Evaluate the potential for wild mice to be reservoirs of zoonotic diseases (diseases transferable from animals to


Things to know about the Urban Mouse Project-Santa Fe:

·Will take place in several parks in Santa Fe throughout the summer.

·Involves the live capture of wild mice that will be released unharmed at the site of capture after data are collected.

·Boxes collecting data on mouse behavior in urban and forest habitats will be placed in different parks throughout

the summer.

·Mouse Project staff will be collecting data in parks in the early mornings and the evenings.

·We will also be asking citizens of Santa Fe who live close to parks to allow us to live trap small mammals on their

property. Small mammals will be released unharmed after data collection.

Talks about the project will be given periodically throughout the summer. See the Urban Mouse Project-Santa Fe website for updates.

If you have any further questions or concerns please email us at For more information call Robert Wood, IPM Program Manager / City Forester (505) 955-2117.

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