|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
Contact: Diane Katzenberger 303-236-4578
March 30, 2006
Research Regarding the Genetics of the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse Available for Public Comment
Public Comment Period Extended Until May 18, 2006
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced the availability of two recently published reports, and their associated data, which analyze genetics and taxonomy of the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse.
In order to ensure the public has full access to and an opportunity to comment on all available information on the proposal to delist the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, including the raw data associated with these two reports, the Service is extending the public comment period until May 18, 2006. Comments previously submitted need not be resubmitted as they have already been incorporated into the public record and will be fully considered in the final decision.
These and other documents relative to the delisting proposal are available at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/preble. The raw data for these two reports is available at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/preble/PEER/PEERindex.htm.
On February 2, 2005, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a 12-Month Finding on a petition to delist the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei) and proposed to remove the mouse from the Federal list of threatened and endangered species. The delisting proposal was primarily based on genetic research conducted by Dr. Rob Roy Ramey et al. formerly of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science suggesting that the Preble’s should be considered the same subspecies as the Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse (Z. h. campestris).
Since then, substantial additional information has become available including a genetic analysis of the Preble’s and several other meadow jumping mouse subspecies by Dr. Tim King with the U.S. Geological Survey Science Center and additional work by Ramey et al. All will be considered in any final agency decision.
The range of Preble’s (Z.h. preblei) corresponds largely to the rapidly developing Front Range Urban Corridor running from Colorado Springs, Colorado, to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Z. h. campestris is found in the Bear Lodge Mountains and Black Hills of northwestern Wyoming, southwestern South Dakota, and southeastern Montana. Z. h. intermedius is found across the Northern Great Plains.
Because of the complexity of this issue, the Service has also extended its proposal to delist the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse until August 2006. A six-month extension in making final determinations on listing or delisting proposals is allowed under the Endangered Species Act in situations where there is substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data.
Comments are encouraged and will be received until close of business on May 18, 2006. Written comments can be sent to the Field Supervisor, Colorado Field Office, Ecological Services, P.O. Box 25486, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225. Comments may also be hand delivered to the Colorado Field Office at 134 Union Boulevard, Suite 670, Lake Plaza North, Lakewood, CO 80228, via facsimile to 303-236-4005, or via electronic mail to FW6_PMJM@fws.gov.
For further information, contact Susan Linner, Field Supervisor of the Colorado Field Office, at 303-236-4774.
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