The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (jumping mouse) is endemic to New Mexico, Arizona, and a small area of southern Colorado (Hafner et al. 1981, pp. 501-502; Jones 1999, p. 1). The jumping mouse is grayish-brown on the back, yellowish-brown on the sides, and white underneath (Van Pelt 1993, p 1). The species is about 7. 4 to 10 inches (187 to 255 mm) in total length, with elongated feet (1.2 inches (30.6 mm)) and an extremely long, bicolored tail (5.1 inches (130.6 mm)) (Van Pelt 1993, p. 1; Hafner et al. 1981, p. 509). The jumping mouse is a habitat specialist (Frey 2006d, p. 3). It nests in dry soils, but uses moist, streamside, dense riparian/wetland vegetation up to an elevation of about 8,000 feet (Frey 2006d, pp. 34-45). The jumping mouse appears to only utilize two riparian community types: 1) persistent emergent herbaceous wetlands (i.e., beaked sedge and reed canarygrass alliances); and 2) scrub-shrub wetlands (i.e., riparian areas along perennial streams that are composed of willows and alders) (Frey 2005, p. 53). It especially uses microhabitats of patches or stringers of tall dense sedges on moist soil along the edge of permanent water. Home ranges vary between 0.37 and 2.7 acres (0.15 and 1.1 hectares) and may overlap (Smith 1999, p. 4).
The jumping mouse is generally nocturnal, but occasionally diurnal. It is active only during the growing season of the grasses and forbs on which it depends. During the growing season, the jumping mouse accumulates fat reserves by consuming seeds. Preparation for hibernation (weight gain, nest building) seems to be triggered by day length. The jumping mouse hibernates about 9 months out of the year, longer than most other mammals (Morrison 1990, p. 141; VanPelt 1993, p. 1; Frey 2005a, p. 59).