20 years after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 that leveled natural old-growth forests, scientists have discovered one endemic mouse has become the dominant rodent species. First discovered in 1956, it wasn't seen again until 2011 when scientists returned to Pinatubo to survey the area.
While endemic tropical island species are typically seen as the most vulnerable, Apomys sacobianus bucks the trend. A study published in the Philippine Journal of Science calls the species a "disturbance specialist," noting its resilience to the cataclysmic event.
Experts speculate that as the forests around Pinatubo continue to develop and recover, other species requiring more forest cover may move in, dethroning the mouse. However, it's still very possible for ap. sacobianus to continue living in conditions with low leveles of disturbance.
This episode features the popular article, "On a Philippine volcano, an eruption proof mouse rules the roost," by Leilani Chavez
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Photo Credit: Mount Pinatubo erupting via Wikipedia.