Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse (SMHM) Research and Public Service

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It’s been an exciting summer at WRA for Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse (SMHM) research and public service!

As members of the leadership team for this first-of-its-kind research effort, WRA was part of a group of recipients of an Outstanding Environmental Project (the Inaugural Rangewide Survey for the SMHM) in late May at the 2024 State of the Estuary Conference.

The following week Katie and Carla hosted the SMHM Interagency Working Group (a group of biologists from federal, state, and local entities; academic researchers from University of California, Davis and California State University San Marcos; and other researchers from consulting firms) to discuss recent research and future priorities for the species. At that meeting, they learned that Katie and Carla processed about one-third of all of the SMHM captures during the Rangewide Survey and that Carla was the most accurate harvest mouse IDer during the project. She did not mis-ID a single animal!

Two weeks later Katie presented virtually to aspiring young biologists at Michigan Tech’s Summer Youth Program about the endemic SMHM. She talked about research and conservation and was even able to walk right outside our San Rafael office to show them an example of an armored shoreline and non-traditional wetland habitat for SMHM.

Just days after that, Katie had the opportunity to return to the very first site she ever surveyed as a young biologist with CDFW to assist with trapping. She also got to spend some time mentoring and training a new SMHM biologist. Talk about a full-circle moment!

We are proud of Katie and Carla and their involvement in SMHM conservation and management!