Spring Storm in the Great Basin Red Cliffs Desert Tortoise Reserve After a Spring Storm in the Great Basin Hunting Upland Birds at Kingsbury Lake Waterfowl Production Area Sandhill Migration on the Platte River Badlands Sunrise The Green River at Ouray NWR North Park Lupines Moab Sunset
News & Releases
Mountain-Prairie Region

News Release

Service Proposes Endangered Species Act Protection with Critical Habitat for the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse

For Immediate Release

June 19, 2013

New Mexico jumping mouse. Photo credit: © Jennifer Frey.

(Public Comment Sought)

In order to conserve the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius luteus) and protect its habitat the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is proposing to list the jumping mouse as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act and proposing to designate critical habitat. A 60-day public comment period will begin on each of these two proposals when they are published in the Federal register. Comments should be received by COB August 19, 2013.

The threats to the jumping mouse are primarily the cumulative habitat loss and fragmentation across its range, compounded by their short lifespan and low birth rate.

The Service is proposing to designate approximately 14,561 acres of critical habitat along streams within Bernalillo, Colfax, Mora, Otero, Rio Arriba, Sandoval, and Socorro Counties, in New Mexico; Las Animas, Archuleta, and La Plata Counties in Colorado; and Greenlee and Apache Counties in Arizona.

The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse is a species that hibernates about 8 or 9 months out of the year, longer than most mammals. Conversely, it is only active 3 or 4 months during the summer. Within this short time frame, it must breed, birth and raise young, and store up sufficient fat reserves to survive the next year’s hibernation period. In addition, jumping mice only live 3 years or less and have one small litter annually with 7 or less young, so the species has limited capacity for high population growth rates due to this low fecundity. As a result, if resources are not available in a single season, jumping mice populations would be greatly stressed.

The jumping mouse has exceptionally specialized habitat requirements such as tall (averaging at least 24 inches) dense riparian vegetation, only found when wetland vegetation achieves full growth potential associated with perennial flowing water. This vegetation is an important resource need for the jumping mouse because it provides vital food sources (insects and seeds), as well as the structural material for building day nests that are used for shelter from predators.

Click here to read the rest of this story. »

New Mexico jumping mouse. Photo credit: © Jennifer Frey.

Since 2005, there have been 29 documented remaining populations spread across the 8 conservation areas (2 in Colorado, 15 in New Mexico, and 12 in Arizona). Nearly all of the current populations are isolated and widely separated, and all of the 29 populations located since 2005 have patches of suitable habitat that are too small to support resilient populations of the jumping mouse. Because of the current conditions of isolated populations, when localities are extirpated there is little or no opportunity for natural recolonization of the area due to the species’ limited dispersal capacity.

To find out what the Service is seeking information and comments on, how and where to commenton one or both of these proposals, see the Federal Register notice for each or visit our web site at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/.

– FWS –

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Office of External Affairs

Mountain-Prairie Region

134 Union Blvd

Lakewood, CO 80228


303-236-3815 FAX




Tom Buckley
(505) 248-6455

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your
contact information below.

govdelivery Logo


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: September 05, 2013
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
flickr youtube