Honors College

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Wildlife Ecology


Danielle Levesque

Committee Members

Erik Blomberg, Stephen Coghlan, Allison Gardner, Christopher Mares

Graduation Year

May 2020

Publication Date

Spring 5-2020


In a changing climate, two species of mice in Maine (Peromyscus maniculatus and Peromyscus leucopus) are currently undergoing range shifts. The objective of my thesis is to determine the historical and current range of each species within the state of Maine. I used two approaches. I assembled ear biopsies collected this summer in Acadia National Park and throughout the state by the Gardner and Levesque labs to genotype the mice as either P. maniculatus or P. leucopus. Additionally, I summarized research that denotes where the two species were historically present around the state. These species are functionally impossible to tell apart in the field, and projects that use small mammal trapping often simply choose one of the two species to identify all uncertain mice. A lack of genotyping and data from a current time frame hindered our understanding of the ranges of the species. However, knowledge of the ranges of the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse could yield information as to how the two species might differ as reservoirs for tick-borne disease, catalysts for forest community development, and models for mammalian range shifts.