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Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse Site Conservation Teams

New Approach to Working with Communities to Conserve Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse

The Preble’s meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei) was listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as federally threatened in 1998.  This species is dependent on riparian ecosystems and is only found along the Front Range of Colorado and Southern Wyoming in riparian areas below 7600 feet.  

The greatest threats to population recovery are habitat alteration, fragmentation, and destruction from urban development and grazing activities.  Fortunately, suitable habitat for the Preble’s mouse can be maintained or improved in our watersheds with compatible land management. 

The Preble’s mouse Recovery Plan, published in 2018, calls for the formation of Site Conservation Teams (SCTs), which shall nominate recovery populations, identify threats and means through which to manage threats, and reach out to communities with this information.  Site Conservation Teams are composed of community stakeholders such as federal, state, and local government agencies, nonprofit entities, and private landowners.  

Site Conservation Teams are tasked with assessing habitat quality within Hydrologic Unity Codes (HUCs, see map) in Colorado and Wyoming that host large (2,500 mice within a network of 57 miles of connected streams), medium (500 mice within 11 miles of connected streams) and small (occupied within 3 miles of connected streams) populations.  

Mice populations are then nominated to serve as recovery populations whose size will be monitored for 10 years.  They next develop Threat Abatement and Conservation plans, which serve to identify local and regional impacts and activities, potential management actions, and identification of opportunities for habitat improvement, including funding and support resources. 

To learn more about regional SCTs: 

North Fork Poudre 

St Vrain

Monument Creek 

Plum Creek (coming soon) 

Buckhorn (coming soon) 

Cherry Creek (coming soon)

The Preble’s mouse will be considered recovered and eligible for delisting when:  

  1. Two large and five medium populations distributed across the range maintain stable or increasing trends over a 10-year period based on data obtained from standardized monitoring methods. Population sizes are defined in the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse Recovery Plan. The recovery populations will be distributed among two Recovery Units.
  2. Sufficient numbers of small populations are protected to provide for representation, resiliency, and redundancy. In each of the 10 HUCs that are not occupied by a large or medium population and that contain suitable Preble’s mouse habitat, an additional three small populations are maintained over a 10-year period based on data obtained from standardized monitoring methods.
  3. At least the estimated stream mileage for each population size (large population = 57 miles, medium population = 11 miles, small population = 3 miles, see Section 5 under Recovery Strategies of this Plan) is maintained as suitable habitat of functionally connected stream for a reasonable time frame (10 years or more) and is not expected to be impacted by negative management actions for the foreseeable future. Priority is given to public and other protected lands and habitats that provide connectivity.
  4. State, county or local government regulations or other mechanisms, as set forth in the de-listing criteria for Factor D, protect Preble’s mouse habitat and abate known threats into the foreseeable future.
  5. As required by the ESA, a post-delisting management plan for the Preble’s mouse and its habitat is completed, in cooperation with state and local governments, to ensure the designated recovery populations are maintained at self-sustaining levels.

To learn more about Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse: 

We focus our work in three areas:

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