Stories tagged jumping mouse

Jan
26
2006

Preble's meadow jumping mouse: Preble's meadow jumping mouse.  Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Preble's meadow jumping mouse: Preble's meadow jumping mouse. Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

This little fellow, the Preble's meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei) is causing quite a stir. Almost a year ago, Interior Secretary Gale Norton suggested removing the bouncing rodent from the endangered species list. She based her suggestion on a study done by a biologist hired by Norton's department that showed there was no genetic difference between the Preble's meadow jumping mouse and the much more common Bear Lodge meadow jumping mouse. However, in a recent United States Geological Survey report geneticists found that the mouse was, in fact, a distinct subspecies.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said the new study results raise significant questions about the previous study, and that it will convene a panel and study the mouse for at least six months before deciding on its status.

If the mouse were removed from the endangered species list a large section of Colorado and Wyoming, which is identified as critical habitat to be conserved for the recovery of the mouse, would be available for new development.

The Preble's meadow jumping mouse is capable of jumping 18 inches into the air and can change direction in mid jump. It can leap distances up to three feet, and also can swim. The mice are hibernating now, but when they wake up I'm sure this will be a huge relief.