HABITAT: The mice live in the low-mid zone of the San Francisco Bay marshes in dense pickleweed patches. During very high tides, water covers the pickleweed, and the mice must either swim or climb onto plants that grow above the high tide line.
DIET: Salt marsh harvest mice eat seeds, grasses, pickleweed and insects.
PREDATORS: The mice are eaten by herons, hawks, owls, and gulls.
FUN FACT: Unlike most mammals, their bodies are specially adapted to tolerate high concentrations of salt in food and water. The mice have been known to drink and survive on salt water or brackish water for long periods of time, which has given them a great advantage in the Bay’s salty tidal marshes where only a limited number of creatures can survive.
Photo Courtesy of the United States Department of the Interior