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Endangered Species | Mammals
Mountain-Prairie Region
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Preble's Meadow jumping mouse

 

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  •  Preble's Meadow jumping mouse. In this photo, the mouse is shown in torpor, a form of hibernation/sleep. Credit: USFWS.

    Preble's Meadow jumping mouse. In this photo, the mouse is shown in torpor, a form of hibernation/sleep. Credit: USFWS.

  • Preble's Meadow jumping mouse. Credit: Craig Hansen.

    Preble's Meadow jumping mouse. Credit: Craig Hansen.
     

Preble's Meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei)

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.


Recent actions & links »

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Development of a Recovery Plan for Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Input on Draft Recovery Plan for the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse

Draft Recovery Plan - Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse - January 12, 2016

 

February 5, 2014: News Release - Colorado Flood Recovery Efforts Not Delayed by the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse

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

November 26, 2012 : Initiation of Status Review and 5-Year Review

Federal Register Notice

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.

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.

Information regarding the revised the critical habitat designation for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse


Additional history and background »

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Preble hind legs. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Preble hind legs. Credit: Craig Hansen.

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.

Background: 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 2812567 FR 6153169 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 855671 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.


Recovery plan »

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Trout Creek habitat. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Trout Creek habitat. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Section 4(f) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973, as amended directs the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Commerce to develop and implement recovery plans for species of animals and plants listed as endangered or threatened, unless such plans will not promote the conservation of the species.  Recovery Plans delineate reasonable actions that are believed to be required to recover and protect listed species.  Plans are published by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), sometimes prepared with the assistance of recovery teams, contractors State agencies and others.  Recovery Plans do not necessarily represent the views nor the official positions or approval of any individuals or agencies involved in the plan formulation.  However, approved Recovery Plans represent the official position of the Service, after they have completed public review and are signed by the Service.

At the request of Region 6 of the Service, a Preble's Recovery Team was formed from experts and stakeholders in 2000, with the Recovery Team providing the Service their draft recovery recommendations by June 2003.  The Recovery Team draft recommendations were revised by the Service in November 2003.  Based upon draft taxonomic work completed by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science (DMNS) the Service halted all work on recovery planning as new genetic and morphological information drew into question the taxonomic validity of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse by December 2003.

Since then, numerous parties have requested copies of the November 2003 document.  The Service made the November 2003 document available through our website.  Although the attached document is written in the format of a Recovery Plan, and uses the term "Recovery Plan" within the document, the attached document is not a draft Recovery Plan, does not necessarily represent the position of individual Recovery Team members and is not approved by the Service.  The Service is not seeking public comments on this document.



Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) Maps - Wyoming

Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC) Maps - Colorado


Other conservation actions »

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Jump to a section: Special rule | Habitat Conservation Plans | U.S. Air Force Academy | Conservation Bank


Trout Creek. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Trout Creek. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Special Rule:

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The Endangered Species Act prohibits take of listed species, but allows for exceptions.  A 4(d) rule can be prepared for threatened species that identifies these exceptions and the circumstances in which they apply.  A 4(d) rule for the PMJM was adopted in May 2001 for a three year trial period. This rule was developed to allow take of PMJM for certain activities which are considered to result in negligible or insignificant take are addressed in this rule.


Habitat Conservation Plans

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Private landowners, corporations, state or local governments, or other non-Federal landowners who wish to conduct activities on their land that might incidentally harm (or "take") Preble's meadow jumping mouse must first obtain an incidental take permit from the Service. To obtain a permit, the applicant must develop a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), designed to ensure there is adequate minimizing and mitigating of the effects the proposed activity might have to PMJM or PMJM habitat. This process allows development to proceed legally that would otherwise result in the illegal tale of PMJM, while promoting PMJM conservation on private (non-Federal) lands. In general, HCPs are required by the Service when permanent or temporary disturbance to habitat occurs within 300 feet of 100 year floodplain of any drainages or sub drainages in the PMJM range. HCPs for PMJM have been approved by the Service for private residences, large-scale commercial and residential developments, natural resource management, and multiple-use trails. Currently the Service is working with Front Range county planning and open space departments to develop regional HCPs which would address multiple planning objectives.

Approved HCPs and issued incidental take pemrits (to date):

Maytag Trail
Douglas County
Multiple-use Trail

Leonard Property
Boulder County
Private Residence

Harding Property
Douglas County
Private Residence

Heir-Gannon (Brookside Business Center)
Douglas County
Business and Office Center

Strawberry Tierra (Lincoln Meadows)
Douglas County
Retail Development

Dahle Property
El Paso County
Private Residence

Lefever Property
El Paso County
Private Residence

Continental Homes (Piney Glen)
Douglas County
Residential Subdivision

Denver Water
Boulder, Denver, Jefferson Counties
Operations and Maintenance Activities

Briargate
El Paso County
Residential and Commercial Development

Mayhoffer/Singletree Trail
Boulder County
Multiple-use Trail

Counties working on regional:

Boulder
Douglas
El Paso


Ditch Maintenance Guidelines

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The Service has developed Ditch Maintenance Guidelines to assist water districts in Colorado in maintaining ditches in a manner that least impacts the Preble's meadow jumping mouse. These guidelines incorporate Best Management Practices as standards to undertake during ditch maintenance activities to reduce possible impacts to the species.


U.S. Air Force Academy

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The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado has developed a management plan to improve and maintain habitat on Academy lands for PMJM.

U.S. Air Force Academy Conservation Plan
Final Programmatic Biological Opinion
Final PMJM Conservation Agreement
Conservation and Management Plan for PMJM on the USAF


Conservation Bank

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The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Service signed an agreement on April 17, 2003, that allows CDOT to restore and preserve approximately 25 acres of PMJM habitat in Castle Rock, Colorado. This acreage may be used to compensate for impacts to PMJM habitat due to highway projects within the identified service area. Habitat was restored by installing a series of check structures within East Plum Creek to raise ground water levels lowered by upstream development and subsequent erosion and down-cutting. This is the first Conservation Bank established for PMJM, and for any species in the Mountain-Prairie Region.

Appendix A - General Location Map
Appendix B - Legal Descriptions
Appendix C - Service Area
Appendix D - Baseline Report
Appendix E - Title Report
Appendix F - Bank Management Plan
Appendix G - Table of Credits
Appendix H - Conservation Credit
East Plum Creek Conservation Bank Agreement


Critical habitat »

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Riparian habitat - Trout Creek. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Riparian habitat - Trout Creek. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Critical Habitat identifies specific areas, that are essential to the conservation of Preble's meadow jumping mouse and that may require special management considerations or protections.  Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act prohibits destruction or adverse modification of a critical habitat by any activity funded, authorized, or carried out by any Federal agency, and Federal agencies proposing actions affecting areas designated as critical habitat must consult with the Service on the effects of their proposed actions, pursuant to section 7(a)(2) of the Act.

In determining which areas to designate as critical habitat the Service is required to use the best scientific and commercial data available and to consider physical and biological features (primary constituent elements) that are essential to conservation of the species, and that may require special management consideration and protection.  The primary constituent elements for the PMJM include those habitat components essential for the biological needs of reproducing, rearing of young, foraging, sheltering, hibernation, dispersal, and genetic exchange.  The PMJM is able to live and reproduce in and near riparian areas located within grassland, shrub land, forest, and mixed vegetation types where dense herbaceous or woody vegetation occurs near the ground level, where available open water exists during their active season, and where there are ample upland habitats of sufficient width and quality for foraging, hibernation, and refuge from catastrophic flooding events. See related Critical Habitat Documents linked below.

The critical habitat designation includes river and stream reaches and adjacent floodplains and uplands that are within the known geographic and elevational range of the PMJM, in the South Platte River and Arkansas River drainages in Colorado. The designation defines the width of designated critical habitat as a distance outward from the river or stream edge (as defined by the ordinary high water mark) varying with the size (order) of a river or stream.

On June 23, 2003, we designated critical habitat for the Preble’s throughout its range. On July 10, 2008, we determined that the Preble’s required continued listing under the Act only in a significant portion of its range in Colorado, effectively delisting the Preble’s and eliminating designated critical habitat in Wyoming.  On October 7, 2009, we proposed revision of critical habitat for the Preble’s in Colorado.  On May 27, 2010, we released a draft analysis of the potential economic impacts of the proposed revision, and a draft assessment of the environmental effects of the proposal as required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Preble nest. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Preble nest. Credit: Craig Hansen.

 

December 2010:  The Fish and Wildlife Service has revised the critical habitat designation for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse designating approximately 411 miles of rivers and streams and 34,935 acres of streamside habitat in seven Colorado counties. This revision to the Service’s previous critical habitat designation adds an additional 177 miles of rivers and streams and 14,255 acres of adjacent habitat.

Areas designated as critical habitat for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse in Boulder, Broomfield, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, and Teller counties include riparian corridors along rivers and streams, adjacent uplands, and areas that provide connectivity between and within populations. Most of the critical habitat occurs on lands that are privately or federally owned, with the remaining areas under state and local municipal ownership.

Approximately 550 acres identified as essential to the conservation of the species have been excluded from critical habitat because they are covered by approved Habitat Conservation Plans that provide greater benefits. In addition, approximately 3,300 acres of Department of Defense lands are not included in the final critical habitat designation, because they are covered by approved Integrated Natural Resource Management Plans.

Mixed vegetation photo. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Mixed vegetation photo. Credit: Craig Hansen.

2010 Designated Critical Habitat Maps:
Critical Habitat Index Map - Figure 2
Unit 1 - North Fork Cache La Poudre River
Unit 2 - Cache La Poudre River
Unit 3 - Buckhorn Creek; Unit 4 - Cedar Creek
Unit 5 - South Boulder Creek; Unit 6 - Rocky Flats Site; Unit 7 - Ralston Creek
Unit 8 - Cherry Creek
Unit 9 - West Plum Creek
Unit 10 - Upper South Platte River
Unit 11 - Monument Creek
All Maps (Compressed ZIP Folder)
GIS Shapefiles for all units (Compressed ZIP Folder)


Surveys, Consultants, Permits »

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The Service issues Permits authorizing take of list species resulting from research to gather scientific information supporting recovery of the PMJM. Parties interested in conducting surveys must apply for a scientific research permit and must follow the Survey Guidelines developed by the Service. Numerous parties have been involved in conducting surveys of stream zones and riparian corridors to determine if PMJM is present or absent in those locations.


Block Clearance »

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Riparian habitat photo. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Riparian habitat photo. Credit: Craig Hansen.

Certain areas have been Block Cleared where there is sufficient information to indicate the PMJM is absent from large acreages.

Block clearance letters and maps (large PDF documents, may take several seconds to open)

Denver Metro Area
Letters
Map

Colorado Springs
Letter
Map

Combined Block Clearance Zones (ZIP)

 


Archives »

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Jump to a section: 2003 Designation of critical habitat in Wyoming | 2002 Proposed critical habitat maps | Critical habitat documents | 2003 Designation of critical habitat | 2002 Proposed critical habitat documents | Miscellaneous | Amended listing | Public comments and peer review plans


2003 DESIGNATION OF CRITICAL HABITAT IN WYOMING

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2002 PROPOSED CRITICAL HABITAT MAPS

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COLORADO 
Overview Map
SP3 - Lone Tree Creek
SP4 - North Fork Cache La Poudre River
SP5 - Cache La Poudre River
SP6, 7 - Buckhorn Creek, Cedar Creek
SP8, 9, 10 - South Boulder Creek, Rocky Flats Environmental Site, Ralston Creek
SP11 - Cherry Creek
SP12 - West Plum Creek
SP13 - Upper South Platte River
A1 - Monument Creek

WYOMING
Overview Map
NP1 - Cottonwood Creek
NP2 - Horseshoe Creek
NP3 - Chugwater Creek
NP4 - Friend Creek and Murphy Canyon
NP5 - Horse Creek
SP1 - Lodgepole Creek and Upper Middle Lodgepole Creek
SP2 - Warren Air Force Base
SP3 - Lone Tree Creek

Final Critical Habitat MapsColorado 2003 Index Map
Habitat Unit Code:
SP4 - North Fork Cache La Poudre River
SP5 - Cache La Poudre River
SP6 - Buckhorn Creek
SP10 - Ralston Creek
SP13 - Upper South Platte River

Proposed Revised Critical Habitat Units
Figure 1: Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse Range
Index Map, Figure 2
Habitat Unit Code:
Unit 1 - North Fork Cache La Poudre River
Unit 2 - Cache La Poudre River
Units 3 & 4 - Buckhorn Creek, Cedar Creek
Units 5, 6 & 7 - S. Boulder Creek, Rocky Flats NWR, Ralston Creek
Unit 8 - Cherry Creek
Unit 9 - West Plum Creek 
Unit 10 - Upper South Platte River
Unit 11 - Monument Creek


CRITICAL HABITAT DOCUMENTS

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Press Release: May 27, 2010


2003 DESIGNATION OF CRITICAL HABITAT

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2002 PROPOSED CRITICAL HABITAT DOCUMENTS

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Press Release: July 17, 2002


MISCELLANEOUS

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The Service has determined that these petitions and new information available in our files provides substantial biological information to indicate that delisting may be warranted and are initiating a status review.  Upon conclusion of the status review, the Service will issue a finding regarding the listing status of the species.  Because a status review is also required for the 5-year review of listed species under Section 4(c)(2)(A) of the Act, we are electing to prepare these reviews simultaneously.


AMENDED LISTING

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PUBLIC COMMENTS AND PEER REVIEW PLANS

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The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: October 04, 2018
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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