PRESS RELEASE: Petition Filed to Maintain Jumping Mouse’s Endangered Species Protection

Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse
Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse
Photo credit: iStock, CC 3.0 US

Property-rights Group Continues Bogus Effort to Delist Tiny Mouse

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 9, 2017

Media Contacts:

Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity, ngreenwald@biologicaldiversity.org
Megan Mueller, Rocky Mountain Wild, 303-704-9760, megan@rockymountainwild.org

DENVER— The Center for Biological Diversity and Rocky Mountain Wild filed a petition today with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to continue protections for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse under the Endangered Species Act.

The jumping mouse is currently protected as a threatened subspecies. But the extremist Pacific Legal Foundation, a private property-rights group, petitioned the Fish and Wildlife Service in March to strip those protections, incorrectly arguing that new genetic information invalidates its status as a subspecies.

Today’s petition presents information showing that the jumping mouse still merits recognition as a subspecies. Should the agency determine this not to be the case, the petition requests protection for the jumping mouse as a distinct population.

“No matter how it’s categorized, the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse is headed for extinction and needs protection,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Pacific Legal Foundation’s effort to strip the jumping mouse of protection has nothing to do with science and everything to do with its anti-wildlife, anti-nature agenda.”

This is not the first attempt to strip the jumping mouse of protection. In 2003 the state of Wyoming and other entities petitioned for delisting of the jumping mouse based on a study by Dr. Roy Ramey, then at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

This effort stalled after a new study confirmed the jumping mouse’s status as a subspecies and raised serious concerns about Dr. Ramey’s methods, including potential for sample contamination. Dr. Ramey, who no longer works for the Denver museum, is a signatory to the new petition to strip the jumping mouse of protection.

“Protecting the jumping mouse means protecting the rivers and streams along the Front Range in Colorado and Wyoming that we all love,” said Megan Mueller, a senior conservation biologist with Rocky Mountain Wild. “We sincerely hope that even in a Trump administration, the Fish and Wildlife Service will follow the science and maintain protections for this unique little jumping mouse.”

The Preble’s meadow jumping mouse is a small mammal that uses its 6-inch tail and powerful hind legs to escape from predators with massive leaps of more than a foot and a half in the air. It is limited to streamside habitats of the Rocky Mountain Front Range in eastern Colorado and Wyoming.

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