Searching for Pinyon Mice
I finally got to go on a collecting trip last summer with my advisor Duke Rogers. For the past 4 years, something has always come up which had prevented me from going. This year was the year finally and we went to central Utah, near Capitol Reef. We were specifically looking for Pinyon Mice as this is expected to be a hybrid zone between the east and west forms of the mouse, but it hadn’t been well sampled. We planned for a 5 day trip. Here’s some of the terrain:
The first day we set out a serious of traps and then found a place to camp. We woke up early the next morning, packed up our gear, picked up the traps and processed what we caught. Then we would find a new place to set traps and set up camp and start all over again.
The pinyon mice were so numerous that we ended up only staying 3 days instead of 5. Our trap success was phenomenal and there were so many mice that they came out at dusk and were visible right next to our campsite.
Ana and I named this little guy Ro (she has a dog named Ra, and I have a cat named Ru). He was just a baby, but he came right up to us and ate seeds by our camp one night. We did NOT trap him. Here is what our bounty looked like in just one day!
I had a blast and would love to go again this summer. Here’s hoping!