Endangered Species
Mountain-Prairie Region
Critical Habitat

Riparian habitat_Trout Creek; Photo by Craig HansenCritical 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.


Preble nest_Photo by Craig HansenIn 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. 


Mixed vegetation_Photo by Craig Hansen

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. 


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.


Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse Critical Habitat Unit 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)



Last updated: May 17, 2013