Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse Retains Protections Under the ESA
May 23, 2013 Current scientific evidence indicates that removing the Preble's meadow jumping mouse from the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife is not warranted. The Service announced today the completion of a 12-month status review in response to two petitions to delist the mouse. Habitat loss continues to threaten the existence of the mouse throughout its range in Colorado and Wyoming. As a result, the Preble's retains its protections as a threatened species under the Act
- Federal Register: May 23, 2013 12-Month Finding on Two Petitions to Delist the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse
- Press Release: May 23, 2013 Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse Retains Protections Under the Endangered Species Act
- Questions and Answers
November 26, 2012 : Initiation of Status Review and 5-Year Review
Endangered Species Act Protection for the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse Will Be Reinstated in Wyoming
August: The Preble’s meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei) will again be protected in Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act as of August 6, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today. The Service reinstated protections for the mouse, which is already protected in Colorado, in order to comply with a requested court order.
Preble’s populations throughout the species’ range in Colorado and Wyoming will be federally protected, with a special rule in place to allow rodent control, agricultural operations, landscape maintenance, noxious weed control, ditch maintenance, and other specified activities to occur provided they are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the special rule.
The Service will work closely with the State of Wyoming and private landowners to minimize the disruption this action will cause. The agency will provide streamlined ESA consultation and identify feasible avoidance and minimization measures in order to facilitate traditional land uses.
The Service will not reinstate its previous designation of critical habitat for the mouse in Wyoming.
- Federal Register Notice: August 5, 2011 Reinstatement of Listing Protections for the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse
- Press Release: August 5, 2011 Service Reinstates Endangered Species Act Protections for the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse in Wyoming
- Questions and Answers
Endangered Species Act Protection for the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse Will Be Reinstated In Wyoming
July 8, 2011: A federal judge in Denver accepted the Service’s proposed course of action to restore Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse in Wyoming beginning August 6.
We had asked the judge to remand and vacate our 2008 decision to continue to protect the mouse in Colorado but not in Wyoming. That decision was based on an interpretation of the meaning of “in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of the range” (SPR Language) that allowed us to apply ESA protections to those portions of a species’ range where we believed it was most threatened instead of all the places where it is found. However, since then two courts remanded listing decisions based on that interpretation. Because we based our 2008 determination on that interpretation of SPR Language, we asked the court to vacate that decision.
We have committed to conduct a new status review of the Preble’s and make a new finding on the petitions from the State of Wyoming and Coloradans for Water Conservation and Development to delist Preble’s populations in Wyoming by June 2013. The revised finding will be informed by the policy on SPR Language currently under development.
In the interim, Preble’s populations in Colorado and Wyoming will be federally protected with a special rule in place to allow rodent control, agricultural operations, landscape maintenance, noxious weed control, ditch maintenance, and other specified activities to occur provided they are conducted in accordance with the requirements of the special rule. We will be working closely with the State of Wyoming and private landowners to minimize the disruption this action through streamlined ESA consultation and by providing feasible avoidance and minimization measures.
The Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudonius preblei) (Preble's or PMJM) is a small mammal approximately 9-inches in length with large hind feet adapted for jumping, a long bicolor tail (which accounts for 60% of its length), and a distinct dark stripe down the middle of its back, bordered on either side by gray to orange-brown fur. This largely nocturnal mouse lives primarily in heavily vegetated, shrub dominated riparian (streamside) habitats and immediately adjacent upland habitats along the foothills of southeastern Wyoming south to Colorado Springs along the eastern edge of the Front Range of Colorado. The Preble's mouse enters hibernation in September or October and doesn't emerge until May. Its diet changes seasonally and consists of insects, seeds, fungus, fruit and more.
Once the glaciers receded from the front range of Colorado and the foothills of Wyoming and the climate became drier, the Preble mouse was confined to the riparian systems where moisture was plentiful. The eastern boundary for the Preble's is likely defined by the dry shortgrass prairie, which may present a barrier to eastward expansion. Preble's is one of twelve subspecies of meadow jumping mice found throughout North America.
Typical habitat for Preble's is comprised of well-developed plains riparian vegetation with adjacent, relatively undisturbed grassland communities and a nearby water source. These riparian areas include a relatively dense combination of grasses, forbs, and shrubs. Preble's are know to regularly range outward into adjacent uplands to feed and hibernate.
The Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse was found in Colorado in 1899 by Edward A. Preble. Listed in 1995 as a threatened species, the Preble's is long lived for a small mammal, compared to other species of mice and voles that seldom live a full year. Preble's mice captured as adults were still alive two years later. The PMJM has a long list of predators that includes garter snakes, rattlesnakes, bullfrogs, foxes, house cats, long-tailed weasels, hawks, owls and others. The Preble's meadow jumping mouse is believed to have two litters each year with an average size of five young.
The PMJM recently documented distribution includes Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Elbert, Jefferson, Larimer and Weld counties in Colorado; and Albany, Laramie, Platte Goshen, and Converse counties in Wyoming. The Colorado portion of this area had undergone rapid residential, commercial, and industrial designation that has impacted the PMJM habitat.
On July 10, 2008, the Service removed Endangered Species Act protections for Preble's meadow jumping mouse populations in Wyoming and amended the listing for Preble's to indicate the subspecies remains protected as a threatened species in the Colorado portion of its range.(74 FR 52066)
The Service has determined the best commercial and scientific information available demonstrates that the Preble's meadow jumping mouse is a valid subspecies and should not be removed from the list of threatened and endangered species based on taxonomic revision.
On May 13, 1998, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) designated the mouse as threatened in its entire range (63 FR 26517). On June 23, 2003, we designated critical habitat for Preble’s (68 FR 37275). On May 20, 2004, we made permanent a final section 4(d) special rule for the Preble’s that provides exemptions from Section 9 take prohibitions for certain rodent control activities, ongoing agricultural activities, maintenance and replacement of existing landscaping, existing uses of water, certain noxious weed control and ditch maintenance activities (66 FR 28125, 67 FR 61531, 69 FR 29101). Click here for more information on the Special Rule.
On February 2, 2005, we issued a 12-Month Finding on a petition to delist the Preble's and proposed to remove the mouse from the Federal list of threatened and endangered species (70 FR 5404). On February 17, 2006, the Service extended the rule-making process an additional six-months due to substantial disagreement regarding the sufficiency or accuracy of the available data (71 FR 8556; 71 FR 16090).
On November 1, 2007, the Service announced a revised proposal to remove the Preble's populations in Wyoming from the List of Threatened and Endangered Species; and proposing to amend the listing for Preble's to indicate the subspecies remains threatened in the Colorado portion of its range. Additionally, the best commercial and scientific information available demonstrates that the Preble's is a valid subspecies and should not be removed from the List of Threatened and Endangered Species based upon taxonomic revision (73 FR 39790).
More information on PMJM can be found at the Service's ECOS web page or by contacting the Colorado field office at (303) 236-4773.