Rare jumping mice discovered In this July 24, 2013 photograph, a meadow jumping mouse stands on the edge of a container while being released at Rollins Savanna in Grayslake, Ill. (AP Photo/Scott Eisen/Stacey Stanford/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP, File)
Rare jumping mice discovered
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Biologists recently spent weeks in three New Mexico national forests searching for signs of an elusive, endangered mouse. It looks somewhat like a tiny kangaroo. The scientists say they have found what they call undeniable evidence that it still lives in the state for which it is named.
 
The biologists have trapped New Mexico meadow jumping mice. The scientists collected fur and fecal samples. This occurred during summertime surveys. They were taken in the southern Lincoln National Forest, the northern Santa Fe National Forest and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests along the New Mexico-Arizona border. The news is according to Beth Humphrey. She is a district ranger with the U.S. Forest Service. The jumping mice had not been seen for years in those places.
 
The mouse has a tail that makes up most of its length. It is called a jumping mouse because it can leap. In fact, it can jump more than two feet into the air. It jumps when it is frightened. Super-long tails help the mice keep their balance. This is especially when they scale plant stems to reach ripening seeds. The seeds are one of their main food sources.
 
The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse was listed as an endangered species in 2014. It prompted the U.S. Forest Service to fence off streams and watering holes in the Lincoln and Santa Fe forests to protect habitat. That spurred criticism from ranchers and others. They claimed that the federal government was trampling private access to public lands in New Mexico.
 
Small populations of New Mexico meadow jumping mice have been found in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.
 
Last summer's surveys turned up the first hard evidence that they still live in areas where they had not been spotted in years. That's according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in an emailed statement.
 
The discoveries provide "hope that this species can recover over a period of time," said Humphrey. She works in New Mexico's Sacramento Mountains.
 
Humphrey said her district will collect public comments this fall. Proposals will be sought for long-term strategies. They would be aimed at trying to protect and boost New Mexico meadow jumping mouse populations.
 
The mice live near streams. They depend on tall grass to hide from predators. They hibernate for about nine months. Then they emerge in the late spring to gorge themselves before mating, giving birth and going back into hibernation. They normally live three years.
 
Jack Williams is a wildlife biologist. He is based in the Sacramento Mountains. He said the jumping mouse is difficult to trap. His crew surveyed five sites over six weeks. More than 5,000 traps were set.
 
Why are there so few of the jumping mice? Biologists blame drought, wildfires, flooding and grazing in the habitat of the New Mexico meadow.

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Why were the mice difficult to find?
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COMMENTS (6)
  • saylordenholm-bak
    11/08/2016 - 05:08 p.m.

    WOW! Jumping mice look soooo quaint!

  • noaho-lin
    11/18/2016 - 02:36 p.m.

    I didn't know mice could jump really high! I hope they're not extinct because they look interesting. This article is very interesting. Maybe I'll find one when I grow up.

  • oattra-eri
    12/01/2016 - 02:33 a.m.

    The mice were difficult to find because they're small and it seems that they can also run fast.

  • matthew1-eri
    12/07/2016 - 02:32 a.m.

    Jumping mice are rare, tiny and hides in places.

  • josiew-ver
    2/10/2017 - 09:19 a.m.

    I think the mice are hard to find because they are really fast. I don't think they'll become extinct but I'm hoping the population of these mice get bigger. I wonder if they are all over the U.S but have not been discovered yet. These mice look very interesting and I hope I could have one as a pet someday because they are rare and not a lot of people know about them.

  • R131313131318
    5/11/2017 - 07:47 p.m.

    This is a very interesting discovery made by Biologists and scientists. I am interested in having Biologists find out the real name of the rare jumping mouse. I hope it does not become extinct before that. I also hope the population grows of the rare jumping mouse! It amazes me that a small mouse appears to look like a kangaroo and that it can jump so high! I want to study more about the rare jumping mouse. I hope I can have one as a pet soon because they are so cute.

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