Search Field Guide
Advanced Search
Montana Animal Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

White-footed Mouse - Peromyscus leucopus

Google for more images Google for web pages
Potential Species of Concern

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S4

Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:
FWP Conservation Tier: 2


 

External Links





 
General Description
Adults are reddish brown (juveniles gray), with a white belly, white feet, membranous ears, and bicolored tail (usually not sharply bicolored); adult total length 145 to 205 mm, tail 62 to 97 mm (usually shorter than head and body), hind foot 18 to 24 mm, ear 13 to 19 mm; 16 to 29 g in the northeastern U.S.; 3 pairs of mammae (Paradiso 1960, Godin 1977, Hall 1981).

Diagnostic Characteristics
Often difficult to distinguish from P. maniculatus. In New England, differs from P. maniculatus by having coarser and redder pelage, a more well-defined mid-dorsal stripe, a tail that is less distinctly white on the ventral surface and that seldom is as long as the head and body, and a broader rostrum (Godin 1977). See Hoffmeister (1986) for differences from Peromyscus species in the southwestern U.S.

Species Range
Montana Range

Click the legend blocks above to view individual ranges.

Western Hemisphere Range

 


Summary of Observations Submitted for Montana
Number of Observations: 57

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density

Recency

 

(Records associated with a range of dates are excluded from time charts)



Migration
Non-migratory.

Habitat
Riparian woodland, dendritic distribution, uses thickets, shrubs. Nest 7 inches in diameter of plant materials.

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
  • Details on Creation and Suggested Uses and Limitations
    How Associations Were Made
    We associated the use and habitat quality (high, medium, or low) of each of the 82 ecological systems mapped in Montana for vertebrate animal species that regularly breed, overwinter, or migrate through the state by:
    1. Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2001, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. 2004);
    2. Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species’ range and habitat requirements;
    3. Examining the observation records for each species in the state-wide point database associated with each ecological system;
    4. Calculating the percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system to get a measure of “observations versus availability of habitat”.
    Species that breed in Montana were only evaluated for breeding habitat use, species that only overwinter in Montana were only evaluated for overwintering habitat use, and species that only migrate through Montana were only evaluated for migratory habitat use.  In general, species were associated as using an ecological system if structural characteristics of used habitat documented in the literature were present in the ecological system or large numbers of point observations were associated with the ecological system.  However, species were not associated with an ecological system if there was no support in the literature for use of structural characteristics in an ecological system, even if point observations were associated with that system.  High, medium, and low habitat quality was assigned based on the degree to which the structural characteristics of an ecological system matched the preferred structural habitat characteristics for each species in the literature.  The percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system was also used to guide assignments of habitat quality.  If you have any questions or comments on species associations with ecological systems, please contact Bryce Maxell at bmaxell@mt.gov or (406) 444-3655.

    Suggested Uses and Limitations
    Species associations with ecological systems should be used to generate potential lists of species that may occupy broader landscapes for the purposes of landscape-level planning.  These potential lists of species should not be used in place of documented occurrences of species (this information can be requested at: http://mtnhp.org/requests/default.asp) or systematic surveys for species and evaluations of habitat at a local site level by trained biologists.  Users of this information should be aware that the land cover data used to generate species associations is based on imagery from the late 1990s and early 2000s and was only intended to be used at broader landscape scales.  Land cover mapping accuracy is particularly problematic when the systems occur as small patches or where the land cover types have been altered over the past decade.  Thus, particular caution should be used when using the associations in assessments of smaller areas (e.g., evaluations of public land survey sections).  Finally, although a species may be associated with a particular ecological system within its known geographic range, portions of that ecological system may occur outside of the species’ known geographic range.

    Literature Cited
    • Adams, R.A.  2003.  Bats of the Rocky Mountain West; natural history, ecology, and conservation.  Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.  289 p.
    • Dobkin, D. S.  1992.  Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Publication No. R1-93-34.  Missoula, MT.
    • Foresman, K.R.  2001.  The wild mammals of Montana.  Special Publication No. 12.  Lawrence, KS: The American Society of Mammalogists.  278 p.
    • Hart, M.M., W.A. Williams, P.C. Thornton, K.P. McLaughlin, C.M. Tobalske, B.A. Maxell, D.P. Hendricks, C.R. Peterson, and R.L. Redmond. 1998.  Montana atlas of terrestrial vertebrates.  Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT.  1302 p.
    • Hutto, R.L. and J.S. Young.  1999.  Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32.  72 p.
    • Maxell, B.A.  2000.  Management of Montana’s amphibians: a review of factors that may present a risk to population viability and accounts on the identification, distribution, taxonomy, habitat use, natural history, and the status and conservation of individual species.  Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 1.  Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana.  161 p.
    • Werner, J.K., B.A. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. Flath.  2004.  Amphibians and reptiles of Montana.  Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. 262 p.

Food Habits
Somewhat omnivorous. Seeds, fruits and insects are dominant items, with order of importance varying between season and ranges.

Ecology
Semi-arboreal.

Reproductive Characteristics
Probably restricted to warmer months with peaks in March to April and September to October, in midsummer heat reporduction may slow down.

References
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View WorldCat Record   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Bendell, J.F. 1961. Some factors affecting the habitat selection of the white-footed mouse. Can. Field-Nat. 75(4):244-255.
    • Blem, L.B., and C.R. Blem. 1975. The effect of flooding onlength of residency in the white-footed mouse, Peromyscus leucopus. Am. Midl. Nat. 94(1):232-236.
    • Cummings, J. R. and S. H. Vessey. 1994. Agricultural influences on movements of white-footed mice (PEROMYSCUS LEUCOPUS). Am. Midl. Nat. 132:209-218.
    • Foresman, K. R. 2001. The wild mammals of Montana. American Society of Mammologists, Special Publication Number 12. Lawrence, KS. 278 p.
    • Hoffmann, R. S. and D. L. Pattie. 1968. A guide to Montana mammals: identification, habitat, distribution, and abundance. University of Montana, Missoula. 133 p.
    • Kaufman, D.W., M.E. Peak, G.A. Kaufman. 1985. Peromyscus leucopus in riparian woodlands: use of trees and shrubs. J. Mammal. 66(1)139-143.
    • Kaufman, D.W., S.K. Peterson, R. Fristik and G.A. Kaufman. 1983. Effect of microhabitat features on habitat use by Peromyscus leucopus. Amer. Midl. Nat. 110(1): 177-185.
    • Kaufman, G. A., D. W. Kaufman and E. J. Finck. 1988. Influence of fire and topography on habitat selection by PEROMYSCUS MANICULATUS and REITHRODONTOMYS MEGALOTIS in ungrazed tallgrass prairie. J. Mammal. 69:342-352.
    • Krohne, D. T. and R. Baccus. 1985. Genetic and ecological structure of a population of PEROMYSCUS LEUCOPUS. J. Mammal. 66:529-537.
    • Lackey, J. A., D. G. Huckaby and B. G. Ormiston. 1985. PEROMYSCUS LEUCOPUS. Mamm. Species 247:1-10.
    • Montana Dept. of State Lands. U.S. Office of Surface Mining., 1985, Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Consolidation Coal Company. CX Ranch Mine, Big Horn County, Montana.
    • Reichel, J. D. 1986. Habitat use by alpine mammals in the Pacific Northwest. Arc. Alp. Res. 18(1): 111-119.
    • Reid, F. 2006. Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America, 4th Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company: Boston and New York, 608 pp.
    • Sullivan, Daniel, 1982, Bait stations as a means of rodenticide presentation to control Columbian ground squirrrels. Technical Rep. 82-3. Sept. 1982.
    • Williams, O. 1955. Distribution of mice and shrews in a Colorado montane forest. J. Mammal. 36(2): 221-231.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "White-footed Mouse"
Login Logout
Citation for data on this website:
White-footed Mouse — Peromyscus leucopus.  Montana Field Guide.  Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.  Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=AMAFF03070
 
There are currently 19 active users in the Montana Field Guide.