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 who spent weeks in three New Mexico national forests searching for signs of an elusive, endangered mouse that looks somewhat like a tiny kangaroo 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 scientists collected fur and fecal samples 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 is according to Beth Humphrey, a district ranger with the U.S. Forest Service. The animals had not been seen for years in those places.
 
With a tail that makes up most of its length, the rodent 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 previously 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, emerging 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 based in the Sacramento Mountains. He said the mouse is difficult to trap. His crew surveyed five sites over six weeks and set more than 5,000 traps.
 
Biologists blame drought, wildfires, flooding and grazing in the habitat of the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse for the rodent's declining numbers.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why were the mice difficult to find?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (13)
  • bolivia-dav
    11/14/2016 - 04:51 p.m.

    In response to "rare jumping mice discovered," I agree that this mice are endangered. One reason I agree is that "scientists collected fur and fecal samples 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". The mice had not been seen in any of those places for years and they seem to be just spotted there now. Another reason is that drought, wildfires, flooding and grazing have been suspected to cause this mouse to be endangered. It says in the article that They would be aimed at trying to protect and boost New Mexico meadow jumping mouse populations. A third reason "The discoveries provide "hope that this species can recover over a period of time," said Humphrey." This is saying that the mice population is in danger and people are hoping it is going to be recovered. Even though there are not many mice left, I think the mice might be captured and then relisted when the population is increasing .

  • taylorstanton-dia
    11/15/2016 - 11:46 a.m.

    becasue they hid in tall grass and are so few in numbers that they are hardly seen.

  • tyaunnas-moo
    11/17/2016 - 11:55 a.m.

    The mice were difficult to find because they live near streams or tall grass so they can hide from there predators. I like this because they actually want these species to recover over time and I never seen a company like that because normally they try to keep them and put them in pet stores and some people keep them as pets.I really appreciate these people for running test on the animals.

  • wriver-dav
    11/17/2016 - 04:25 p.m.

    In response to "Rare jumping mice discovered ," I think that they were hard to find because... One reason I think this is that they are endangered so they are very rare to find. Another reason is that it says in the article that the mouse is difficult to trap. It says in the article that they look somewhat like small kangaroos. That would mean that they would jump so they would be hard to catch. A third reson would be the fact that they are small and hard to spot. Even though they have set out over 5,000 traps for this mouse,there are not very many of these animals left.

  • bjenna-dav
    11/17/2016 - 08:19 p.m.


    In response to "Rare jumping mice discovered," I disagree that they can jump two feet in the air when frightened because I've read about these mice and I read that they can jump up to five feet. One reason I agree is that they can only live three years. Another reason is that it is an endangered speicies. It says in the article that they haven't been found in 16 years. A third reason I agree is that they are difficult to trap. Even though they can jump higher than they stated, I think that I learned some new things.

  • crowan-dav
    11/17/2016 - 08:40 p.m.

    In the article, "Rare Jumping Mice discovered", it talks about how the mice behave, where they live, and their survival. The mice were named a jumping mouse because it can jump about 2 feet in the air when it gets scared, like it says in paragraph 3. Their main diet is seeds. These mice hibernate for 9 months and then come out for mating and then go back to hibernation after a mouse's birth. They live for about 3 years. They hid in long grass from predators and are fast. The mice live in New Mexico.

  • hella-dav
    11/17/2016 - 10:51 p.m.

    This article is about the jumping mice that are found in New Mexico and haven't been seen in several years. These critters have peculiarly long tails that can help them balance when climbing plants or jumping 2 feet off the ground. "Hope that this species can recover over a period of time" said by Beth Humphrey who works in New Mexico's Sacramento Mountains.

  • alyssaw-ver
    11/22/2016 - 10:14 a.m.

    I find this article interesting because they can jump really high.

  • kasidys-ver
    11/22/2016 - 10:19 a.m.

    because there so small you cant see them and they can jump high also they just like normal mice they can hid easy

  • rlillian-dav
    12/08/2016 - 06:09 p.m.

    In response to, "Rare Jumping Mice Discovered," I found it interesting that the mice can jump really high. In the article, it says, "The rodent is called a jumping mouse because it can leap more than two feet into the air when frightened." I also found it pretty cool that humans are trying to help them. The article says, "It prompted the U.S. Forest Service to fence off streams and watering holes in the Lincoln and Santa Fe forests to protect habitat." Overall, I like the idea that people are doing something to help an endangered species.

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