Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse

What is the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse?

The Preble’s meadow jumping mouse is a rare mouse designated by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.  The federal threatened species designation prohibits the unlawful take of the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse or its habitat.

Where does the mouse live?

The Preble’s meadow jumping mouse lives primarily in heavily vegetated riparian habitats, but may also use adjoining uplands. In Douglas County, the mouse has been located in or near many drainages, including tributaries and the main stream reaches, of East and West Plum Creek, Cherry Creek and South Platte River. However, anystream reach or potential habitat within Douglas County may be subject to the requirements of the Endangered Species Act. At this time, the Fish and Wildlife Service considers areas within the Riparian Conservation Zone (RCZ) to be an approximation of potential habitat for the mouse on non-Federal lands within Douglas County. In 2010, the US Fish and Wildlife Service expanded the range of designated Critical Habitat within Douglas County.  While Critical Habitat and the RCZ have significant overlap, they are distinct.  There are slight differences in the Federal rules and regulations that apply to each category of habitat.  The mouse has also been found in Boulder, Elbert, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer and Weld counties and in parts of Wyoming; the Fish and Wildlife Service has different definitions of potential mouse habitat outside Douglas County.

What activities may be considered a violation of the Endangered Species Act?

In its listing decision, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service identified activities that may result in violation of the Endangered Species Act to include:

1) Collection, handling, harassing, or taking of the species without authorization or permission;

2) Activities that directly or indirectly result in the actual death or injury of the mouse, or that modify the known habitat of the species, thereby significantly modifying essential behavioral patterns (e.g., plowing, mowing, or cutting; conversion of wet meadow or riparian habitats to residential commercial, industrial, recreational areas, or cropland; overgrazing; road and trail construction; water development or impoundment; mineral extraction or processing; off-highway vehicle use; and, hazardous material cleanup or bioremediation); and

3) The application or discharge of agrichemicals, or other pollutants, and pesticides, onto plants, soil, ground water, or other surfaces in violation of label directions or any use following Service notification that such use, application or discharge is likely to harm the species; would be evidence of unauthorized use, application or discharge.

How to determine if a proposed activity would violate the Endangered Species Act.

Any questions regarding ESA compliance or whether an activity will impact the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse or its habitat should be directed to:

United States Fish and Wildlife Service–Ecological Services

Colorado Field Office
PO Box 25486, DFC (MS 65412)
Denver CO 80225-0486
(303) 236-4773