|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
Office of Public Affairs
Contact: Chris Tollefson 202-208-1456
STATEMENT OF THE U.S. FISH AND
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 the best available science at that time, genetic research conducted by Dr. Rob Roy Ramey of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Seeking to use the best science possible in making a final decision, the Service also commissioned Dr. Tim King of the U.S. Geological Survey to do an independent genetic analysis of several meadow jumping mouse subspecies. The USGS study results, provided to the Service on January 25, 2006, raise significant questions about the conclusions drawn by Dr. Ramey in his study.
Because of the complexity of this issue, the Service will extend its original proposal to delist the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse for six months, as allowed under the Endangered Species Act. At the same time, the Service will reopen the public comment period for 60 days to solicit additional information and provide additional time for the Service, peer reviewers, and the public to examine and comment on Dr. King’s report and all other available information.
The Service will also put together a panel comprised of experts in genetics, taxonomy and ecosystem processes to assess the issues of taxonomy raised by the two reports and evaluate current threats to the mouse and its extinction risk. The Service will take the panel’s recommendations into account when making a final listing determination.
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