Order Endentata / Order Lagomorpha / Order Rodentia

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Order Edentata – Armadillos, sloths, and anteaters
___ Armadillo (Dasypus novemcintus) Common
Armadillos were first recorded on Cumberland Island in 1974 and now may be seen in most habitats. They are temperature and humidity sensitive and change their activity patterns to avoid extremes. Their geographic distribution now extends unbroken along the coast from Central America to South Carolina and north to Missouri.
Order Lagomorpha – Rabbits and hares
___ Marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris) Uncommon
Prior to the introduction of bobcats to the island (1988-9), marsh rabbits were abundant in suitable habitats. Their numbers have been greatly reduced since that time. Preferred island habitats are open grassy areas, interdune, and inland adjacent to wetlands.
Order Rodentia – Rodents
___ Gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) Common
All forested areas of the island support gray squirrels. Their two breeding seasons, spring and fall, are dependant upon food resources, and population numbers cycle greatly. Natural island predators include rattlesnakes, owls, and hawks.
___ Beaver (Castor canadensis) Rare
Beavers have constructed dams across streams on the island but permanent residence has not been documented. During the past 27 years, one active beaver pond was active for at least two years, and at least three animals were found dead on the ocean beach.
___ Rice rat (Oryzomys palustris) Common
Grassy wetlands, including the salt marsh, support variable-sied rice rat populations. These rats readily swim and frequently construct their nests in vegetation over water. Their food includes insects and crabs as well as plant material.
___ Cotton mouse (Peromyscus gossypinus) Common
This mouse was originally described as a distinct species (P. insulanus), but that designation was reduced to that of a subspecies (P.g. anatasae) and ultimately it was lumped with the common mainland species. Nevertheless, island cotton mice are genetically and morphologically different from those occurring on the adjacent mainland. They are found in varied habitats throughout the island.
___ Hispid cotton rat (Sigmodon hispidus) Common
Island cotton rats utilize open, scantily vegetated areas such as the interdune meadow and primary dunes, as well as the usual thickets and overgrown old fields. Thick, grassy edges of the high salt marsh are a popular habitat also. Their diet may seasonally include insects as well as vegetation.
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