Estimated Wild Population
Cactus mice average three inches in length and live in burrows and rock crevices in their desert habitat. These nocturnal mammals range in color from gray to cinnamon and have large black eyes that help them see at night. They are quick, agile climbers and predominatly forage for seeds, insects, and vegetation. Their colonies usually breed from January–October. Litters range from one to four offspring, and females can have up to six per year.
Interesting Fact 1
When temperatures rise during the day, cactus mice lower their metabolism and enter a state of physical inactivity that allows them to survive on very little water.
Interesting Fact 2
These mice use their small size and speed to quickly scale rock walls and trees to evade predators, such as owls and rattlesnakes.
Interesting Fact 3
They primarily feed on seeds of various desert annuals, mesquite beans, hackberry nutlets, insects, and green vegetation. When rain is infrequent, they consume succulent plants as a source of water.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
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Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.