How mice indicate if a beach can withstand a storm

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Mice, habiting where you play and live, not normally desired unless they're these little guys. "They are Perdido Key beach mice. They are an endangered species of beach mice," said Associate Curator Nancy Nill with the Palm Beach Zoo.

"In 2004, when Hurricane Ivan was about to hit, they were able to recover eight beach mice, and found out the female was pregnant, to try to save the species because they do live in a dunes in the Panhandle on Perdido Key, Florida."

Nill is helping the Palm Beach Zoo reintroduce the mice back into their natural habitat.

"We actually have 33. We recently had a birth of five that we discovered in January they were born in December."

So why are beaches with Perdido Mice good for our environment? "If there's beach mice in the dunes, you know, your dunes are probably safe because they're a good home for them. So the dunes are safe from high winds, hurricanes. They will hold up."

Since they're nocturnal, you won't see them -- only their borrows. Their burrows, however, are a key indicator whether a beach can weather a storm.

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