Groups Seeking Protection For New Mexico Jumping Mouse

Published: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 - 10:10am

Conservation groups are urging government agencies to do as much as possible to protect the New Mexico Jumping Mouse, which also lives in Arizona, and is now officially an endangered species.

Jay Lininger of the Center for Biological Diversity says the greatest threat to the mouse’s habitat, mainly along streams in eastern Arizona, central New Mexico and southern Colorado, is cattle. However, he says the two species can co-exist on the public lands they share.

“There's absolutely no reason why livestock have to water inside of the riparian areas that are occupied by the jumping mouse, where cows can literally drive the mice extinct,” Lininger said. “Water can be piped to drinkers outside of the riparian habitat, and it could be a win-win for both the mice and the ranchers."

Lininger says fewer than 30 populations of the mouse are known to remain in the three-state area. He says allowing the mouse to go extinct could disrupt the overall food chain, because it is a highly sought-after food source for a variety of snakes, foxes, and the red-tail hawk.

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