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 spent weeks in three New Mexico national forests searching for signs of an elusive, endangered mouse that looks somewhat like a tiny kangaroo. They say they have found what they call irrefutable evidence that it still lives in the state for which it is named.
 
The biologists have trapped New Mexico meadow jumping mice. The biologists collected fur and fecal samples. This occurred during summertime surveys in the southern Lincoln National Forest, the northern Santa Fe National Forest and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests along the New Mexico-Arizona border. This 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 more than two feet into the air when 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 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 on proposals 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 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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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why were the mice difficult to find?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (70)
  • samanthas-1-ste
    11/11/2016 - 01:10 p.m.

    The mice were so difficult to find because they lived in certain locations. They are small so they wanted tall grass in order to hide from predators. Also, they hibernate for nine months out of the year so they are only out for a certain time.

  • hayleel-ste
    11/11/2016 - 01:12 p.m.

    this is interesting because i never thought of a mouse jumping. And acting the way these new found mice are acting. I wonder if finding this mouse was difficult?

  • nathanm14-ste
    11/11/2016 - 01:20 p.m.

    Out of all the factoids in this article, I find the fact that they hibernate to be the most interesting. Just like little bears.

  • jacklynt-ste
    11/11/2016 - 01:33 p.m.

    These mice are so cute! But I actually hate mice so I would be absolutely terrified if I saw one of them. Even though they look cute, they would be really scary because they could jump at your face and that would be horrifying.

  • stephenn-coo
    11/14/2016 - 09:19 a.m.

    The mice were difficult to find because they hid in the tall grass. They are small as well. It also hard to the mice because they live in New Mexico. I like this story because I never herd of this jumping mice before.

  • metau-cel
    11/14/2016 - 09:57 a.m.

    The mice were difficult to find, because all of the places they take residence, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, all have regions of grass lands which means there is not a narrow territory to look for these mice. Also, the mice are quite small and hibernate for 9 months which only leaves 3 months to search for them. The jumping mice were also close to extinction so there aren't even that many to search for due to small population.

  • tiffanyh-ste
    11/14/2016 - 01:01 p.m.

    Mice are small as it is and unless you actually go out to look for them your'e probably not gonna find them. I think they're kind of cute too.

  • richardk-orv
    11/14/2016 - 02:49 p.m.

    they were hard to catch it because they jump,there small and there are tall grasses.Also they live near rivers.

  • vmargaret-dav
    11/14/2016 - 05:16 p.m.

    In response to "Rare Jumping Mice Discovered," I agree that the mice were difficult to trap. One reason I agree is that the mice are rare so it will not be easy to find the mice and trap them. Another reason is that the mice are small so it will be hard to see them. It says in the article, "His crew surveyed five sites over six weeks. More than 5,000 traps were set." A third reason I agree is that the people who are trying to trap the mice even said it was difficult to trap them. Even though the mice have been found, I think it's still difficult to trap the mice.

  • angell2-ver
    11/15/2016 - 08:01 a.m.

    Biologists discover a tiny mouse that just like a tiny kangaroo. Because the tiny mouse have like disappear for a long time, so now biologist hope they can recover this kind of tiny jump mouse.

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