/ Modified aug 24, 2016 7:02 a.m.

Team 'Inks' Endangered Mouse in Arizona, New Mexico

NAU researchers confirm species' range in region using special inkpads.

New Mexico meadow jumping mouse As of 2005, scientists say there were 29 surviving populations of the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse in the Southwest, but biologists say they believe there may be fewer now. (PHOTO: Jennifer Frey)

LISTEN

Story By Melissa Sevigny

A research team from Northern Arizona University confirmed the presence of the endangered meadow jumping mouse in parts of Arizona and New Mexico. It’s the first regional survey in a decade, and the team is using ink to find the mice.

They’re using what’s called a “track plate.” It’s a box with an inkpad in the entrance. The mice leave distinct long-toed footprints when they enter the box to eat the bait.

Wildlife ecologist Carol Chambers leads the project. “Because the species are listed as endangered, we are very concerned about the population sizes and we’re looking hard this summer to try to find the animals in as many locations as possible,” she says.

The NAU team found jumping mice in the Santa Fe and Apache Sitgreaves national forests. The mouse lives near riparian areas and hibernates most of the year. It was listed as endangered in 2014.

The new data will be used to develop a model of the mouse’s preferred habitat, which will inform land-management decisions. The U.S. Forest Service has tried fencing off some sensitive riparian areas to keep cattle and elk out.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated 14,000 acres in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado as critical habitat for the species.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona