#304 Angel Island Mouse

Critically Endangered

These mice were initially found on more than one island. They were last seen in 1991 on Archangel Island, also known as Guardian Angel Island. It is an uninhabited island, and I kind of wonder if that has played a part in the lack of information about these mice. They were very common in the 1960's. There have been multiple surveys searching for them, but nothing so far. They are classified as critically endangered, possibly extinct the last time they were surveyed in 2017. The reason of their probable extinction is partly because of introduced house mouse, introduced rats, and at least on Archangel Island, a lone cat (there could well have been cats on the other islands as well). One paper I saw said that the one cat was trapped in 1995. The feces of the cat that was analyzed showed 10% contained the bones of these mice, and 90% contained their hair. The authors of the paper were in essence saying that that one cat single-handedly (single-pawed?) is responsible for the extinction of the species.

I have not wanted to paint any animal sleeping yet. It is so easy for it to look as if the animal is dead. Especially in a project like this it is on my mind since I often am painting animals I have not seen photos of any while they were alive. I think maybe a giraffe I could, they often look as if they are using their back end as a pillow. This one was asleep at the wildlife safari I went to, maybe not as friendly with its posterior as some other giraffes are. I feel as if I did a good job with the mouse painting, I don't think it looks dead. I kind of get the impression that it either is trying not to wake up in spite of the alarm having gone off, or that it is pretending to be asleep but not doing a very good job at being believable. Almost as if any second now it will open on eye to check if you are paying attention to how sound asleep it is. That reminds me of a video of a hilarious horse. I cannot remember where it was, but the horse was not at all interested in being ridden. Anytime someone would think about getting on, it would pretend to faint. At one point the owner put a carrot in its mouth even, and it wouldn't chew if someone was watching. It would open its eyes to check if you were watching or had given up. It was hilarious and I do hope that horse ended up with a nice ride free retirement.

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