The most important thing we can do to protect the jumping mouse and the ecosystems they call home is to eliminate livestock grazing from precious streamside habitats on public lands.
We’re jumping for joy here at WildEarth Guardians because after years of delay, the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse is finally receiving Endangered Species Act protection.
In response to a 2008 WildEarth Guardians’ petition and as scheduled in our historic settlement resolving the backlog of species awaiting protections, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized the listing this week.
The meadow jumping mouse depends on healthy streamside habitats as the species lives within feet of perennial streams with enough lush, dense streamside vegetation to provide food and shelter. The meadow jumping mouse has the longest known hibernation period of any animal: eight to nine months per year. This long hibernation period makes suitable habitat even more critical for the jumping mouse because they must eat enough food in the three to four months they are active to last the full year.
The stream and wetland habitats to which the meadow jumping mouse is uniquely adapted are seriously threatened by grazing, stream de-watering, wildfire and climate change.
Native to Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona, meadow jumping mice populations today occur in only 30 small, isolated populations along high mountain streams.
The most important thing we can do to protect the jumping mouse and the ecosystems they call home is to eliminate grazing from precious streamside habitats on public lands. This week’s listing decision will not only give this rare and special species a fighting chance to survive, but also ensure cleaner water and protect dozens of other imperiled species.
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