Developers May Be Encroaching On The Rare Florida Mouse By UCF

Developers May Be Encroaching On The Rare Florida Mouse By UCF

Developers may be encroaching on the rare Florida mouse by UCF. The rare Florida mouse finds solace in an oasis trapped between two housing developments near the University of Central Florida. Off of Alafaya Trail near the Palm Valley housing community rests a plot where developers are planning a new housing development; presumably for off campus student housing.  Nestled in the center of the Palm Valley housing community, on one side of the developing property, resides a small wooded area which is home to a few questionable species. One of these species is the rare Florida Mouse, as witnessed by residents and visitors of the Palm Valley community.

Why Is This An Issue?

The Florida mouse is so rare that it isn’t even found throughout the entire state. Listed as “vulnerable” the Florida mouse is on the IUCN Red List. The Florida mouse is considered to be a species of distinct concern by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The mouse is also a candidate for federal endangerment listing on the endangered species list, with evidence of vulnerability.

The Florida Mouse has seen a decline of about 30% in its population over the last decade. Luckily, the mouse still occupies the same territory, for the most part, as it always has; however, numbers have begun to dwindle. The mice largely depend on the burrows of gopher tortoises. Gopher tortoises have seen a decline in recent years of up to 80%. Although it’s still questionable whether gopher tortoises also occupy this wooded area in the middle of the Palm Valley community, one could make that assumption based on the previously given information. 

If this is the case, there is even more of a cause for concern to keep this small haven intact. This makes sense due to the large gopher tortoise population located nearby and because the surrounding area fits the description of the Florida mouse habitat. It also makes sense that residents are now witnessing Florida mice because they are known to be more active during Winter months. 

The Land Developers Largely Remain A Mystery

If it weren’t for a tip from Palm Valley residents, we would not have known about the development plans for this slice of property. Residents have stated that they only know the developers as “UCF Builders” and made sure to tell us that they “don’t have any affiliation with UCF. They just call themselves that.” of course this is speculation. So, as of now, we’re not sure who the developers are or whether that’s the correct name of the development company. What we do know is that there are plans to develop the property into a multi-level apartment community. This means there is a large cause for concern regarding any rare Florida species that currently reside and seek refuge in this small wooded area. We also know that residents have witnessed the rare Florida mouse residing in this area on multiple occasions. There is a possibility that gopher tortoises reside here as well.

Habitat Of The Florida Mouse

The Florida Mouse enjoys a very specific type of environment. When their habitat isn’t maintained, it spells disaster for the species. Florida mice enjoy areas that are dry and well maintained, with sandier soils. They do not like densely vegetated areas which make it difficult for them to scurry around. With this in mind, the area in questions seems to fit the mouses M.O. They can also be found, to a lesser extent, in scrubby and drier pine flatwood areas, which also fits the description of the area with current plans for development. Hopefully the developers will refrain from encroaching on this particular area, or will be forced to leave this area undisturbed.

Please Contact The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission

If you have any knowledge of this area, or the developers plans, or whether the Florida moue may be in gander, please contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission with information. You can easily contact them on their website HERE or by clicking the button below.

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