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Zapus hudsonius

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA RODENTIA DIPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Zapus hudsonius
Species Authority: (Zimmermann, 1780)
Common Name(s):
English Meadow Jumping Mouse
Taxonomic Notes: Recent morphological, mtDNA and microsatellite DNA investigation by Ramey et al. (2005) suggests that the classification of Z. h. preblei as a subspecies is not valid. However, King et al. (2006) refute these findings and argue for the continued classification as subspecies.

Previously subspecies luteus was included in Z. princeps; Hafner et al. (1981) showed that luteus represents Z. hudsonius. Hoffmeister (1986) noted that luteus has diverged greatly from populations of Z. hudsonius to the north and briefly questioned their conspecificity.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.)
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Chanson, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern because it is very widespread, common and not in decline throughout most of its extensive range, it occurs in many protected areas and there are no major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species ranges from southern Alaska in the United States to southern coastal Hudson Bay to Labrador in Canada, south to eastern North Carolina, northwestern South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, northeastern Oklahoma, southeastern Montana, Alberta, and British Columbia; isolated populations occur in southern Wyoming and north-central Colorado (subspecies preblei), and (subspecies luteus) in Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. Its range has expanded southward in the Great Plains since the mid-1960s as the climate has become cooler and more mesic (Frey 1992). Subspecies campestris is found in the Black Hills of Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.

The range of subspecies preblei has not been well defined, but most occurrences are along the Front Range of Colorado and the southeastern section of Wyoming. The current range in Wyoming probably is restricted to a few isolated patches of suitable habitat in primary drainages and adjacent lowland grasslands (Compton and Hugie 1993).

The range of subspecies luteus includes portions of New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. The New Mexico range includes the San Juan Mountains (El Rito area), Sangre de Cristo Mountains (North Williams Lake), Jemez Mountains (upper Guadalupe River drainage), Sacramento Mountains (Rio Penasco and Silver Springs Creek), Rio Grande Valley (Espanola to the Bosque del Apache NWR), and lower Rio Chama Valley (Morrison 1992). Arizona range includes the White Mountains, southern Apache County, and northern Greenlee County (Hoffmeister 1986). Jones (1999) reported this subspecies from western Las Animas County, southern Colorado.
Countries:
Native:
Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Labrador, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland I, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward I., Québec, Saskatchewan, Yukon); United States (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The meadow jumping mouse is common in suitable habitat, with population densities ranging between 7-48 individuals per hectare (NatureServe 2008).

Estimated populations of subspecies preblei at extant locations are generally less than 50, except at the Air Force Academy, Rocky Flats, and potentially East and West Plum Creeks in Douglas County. Available information suggests that this mouse never was abundant at any of the known historical locations (Armstrong 1972). It is documented in Colorado by approximately 18 historical records and seven extant occurrences in Boulder, Jefferson, Douglas, Elbert, Larimer, Weld, and El Paso counties. Long term monitoring and inventory will be needed to determine trends in distribution and population parameters. Because so little is known about the populations in Colorado, it is difficult to determine long-term trends. However, because the habitat is under intense pressure due to urbanization and improper land management, it is likely numbers are declining rangewide. There is some evidence that populations have a tendency to fluctuate in size from year to year (Ellingson et al. 1995). Inventory is needed throughout the historic range. Potential sites could be identified through aerial photographic analysis.

Through the mid-1980s, subspecies luteus had been reported from 14 sites in New Mexico and 11 sites in Arizona. Since then, it has been found in at least three localities in Colorado (Jones 1999) and additional sites in New Mexico (Morrison 1992) and Arizona (Arizona Game and Fish Department map, dated 1 January 2004, shows about 14 localities, some closely adjacent). Long-term trends are poorly known, but available evidence suggests stability. For example, in the late 1980s, Morrison (1992) determined that luteus still occurred in all resurveyed sites in New Mexico and found this subspecies in additional sites in the Jemez and Sacramento mountains, Rio Grande Valley, and the lower Rio Chama Valley. Further surveys are needed to determine the full distribution and area of occupancy.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The meadow jumping mouse is found in grassy fields, thick riparian vegetation and wooded areas. The diet varies seasonally, with insects dominating in early spring, followed by seeds and fruit in the summer and fungi, especially Endogone spp, in later summer and fall.

Breeding occurs from April to early September, with a peak in June-August. Gestation lasts 17-20 days. Litter size is 2-9 (average 4-6); individual females may produce up to 2-3 litters per year. Young are born May-early October, weaned and independent in about four weeks. Most first breed in the summer following their birth. Maximum longevity 2-3 years.

Jumping mice are basically solitary. May shift activity area in response to seasonal drying of habitat. Home range generally is about one hectare in males, smaller in females.

The activity pattern of this mouse is primarily nocturnal, but it is also crepuscular. Preparations begin for hibernation around the beginning of September as individuals accumulate about six grams of additional body fat to last through the winter. Hibernation occurs from September/October to April/May.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species overall. There are threats impacting three of the recognized subspecies.

For subspecies preblei conversion of riparian systems because of urbanization, improper grazing, and agriculture methods, and improper gravel mining practices are likely threats (Bakeman et al. 1997, USFWS 1998). Invasive non-native plants (and consequent weed-control programs) may also threaten the habitat (USFWS 1998). It is important to keep in mind that little is known about the population dynamics of this subspecies. Thus, evaluations of viability should be made very carefully.

For subspecies campestris overgrazing of riparian areas by domestic stock has resulted in the loss of much of the suitable habitat. Such overgrazing is still considered to be the main threat to this subspecies.

Because of subspecies luteus reliance on limited mesic grassland and riparian areas, habitat destruction is of major concern. Agricultural development, including livestock grazing, has destroyed or severally altered riparian habitat in New Mexico and Arizona. Increased recreational use and development in the Sacramento Mountains may further reduce existing habitat patches.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species range includes several protected areas. Taxonomic research is needed to clarify the status of the subspecies. Conservation measures are needed for several threatened subspecies.

The conservation status of Preble's jumping mouse has been a contentious issue. This subspecies was listed as threatened under the United States Endangered Species Act in 1998. However, investigations of mitochondrial and microsatellite DNA by Ramey et al. (2005) led to questions regarding the validity of subspecies classification and resulted in a movement to delist Preble's jumping mouse (Hall 2006). The delisting proceedings have been suspended to allow for a review of King et al. (2006) which argues against the methodology and findings of Ramey et al. (2005). Preble's jumping mouse is protected at the state level. The Wyoming Department of Game and Fish gives it Priority II status and it is designated a Colorado non-game species, providing legal protection.

The United States Air Force Academy and the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site support populations of subspecies preblei that are well protected. Additionally, Boulder City Open Space, Jefferson County Open Space, and other local programs have some level of protection. However, because many populations or known locations are influenced by off-site considerations, such as stream hydrology, each location should be monitored to determine the status of the population. The floodplain and wetland habitats often used by this species are protected to various extents by state and federal regulations. Protection of habitat should be attained through land acquisition, special designation, private landowner agreements, and natural resources management planning.

Subspecies campestris is classified as Critically Rare with habitat decreasing in South Dakota. The Wyoming Department of Game and Fish give it Priority II status on the grounds that further research is required to determine the level of management required to protect the species. No populations are known to occur in any protected areas or in captivity.

Currently subspecies luteus is listed as threatened by Arizona Game and Fish Commission and by New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Findings that the New Mexican jumping mouse is able to utilize irrigation ditches have suggested that populations may be less threatened than originally believed (Morrison 1990, cited in NMGF, 2004). These initial findings should be more closely studied before any changes in conservation status occur. This subspecies would benefit from protection of high quality riparian zones and restoration of degraded (e.g., over-grazed or eroded) riparian zones.

Bibliography [top]

Armstrong, D. M. 1972. Distribution of mammals in Colorado. University of Kansas, Museum Of Natural History, Monograph 3.

Bakeman, M. E. 1997. Conclusions and recommendations from the report on habitat findings of the Preble's meadow jumping mouse. Presented to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service s and Colorado Division of Wildlife.

Compton, Stephen, A. and Hugie, R. D. 1993. Status Report on Zapus hudsonius preblei, a Candidate Endangered Subspecies. Pioneer Environmental consulting Services, Inc. under contract to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Ellingson, A. R., Kettler, S. M., Spackman, S. C., Pague, C. A. and Corn, J. G. 1995. Significant Natural Heritage Resources of the United States Air Force Academy and their Conservation. Draft report to the United States Air Force Academy.

Frey, J. K. 1992. Response of a mammalian faunal element to climatic changes. Journal of Mammalogy 73: 43-50.

Hafner, D. J., Petersen, K. E. and Yates, T. L. 1981. Evolutionary relationships of jumping mice (genus Zapus) of the southwestern United States. Journal of Mammalogy 62: 501-512.

Hafner, D. J., Yensen, E. and Kirkland Jr., G. L. 1998. Status survey and conservation action plan - North American Rodents. IUCN/SSC Rodent Specialist Group, Gland, Switzerland.

Hoffmeister, D. F. 1986. Mammals of Arizona. University of Arizona Press and Arizona Game and Fish Department, Tucson, Arizona, USA.

Jones, C. A. 1999. Zapus hudsonius in southern Colorado. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University 191: 1-7.

King,T. L, Switzer, J. F. and Morrison, C. L. 2006. Comprehensive genetic analyses reveal evolutionarily distinction of a mouse (Zapus hudsonius preblei) proposed for delisting from the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Molecular Ecology 15: 4331–4359.

Morrison, J. L. 1992. Persistence of the meadow jumping mouse, Zapus hudsonius luteus, in New Mexico. Southwestern Naturalist: 308-311.

Quimby, D. C. 1951. Life history and ecology of the jumping mouse, Zapus hudsonicus. Ecology Monographs 21(1): 61-95.

Ramey II, R. R., Liu, H.-P., Epps, C. W., Carpenter, L. M. and Wehausen, J. D. 2005. Genetic relatedness of the Prebleís meadow jumping (Zapus hudsonius preblei) to nearby subspecies of Z. hudsonius as inferred from variation in cranial morphology, mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite DNA: implications for taxonomy and conservation. Animal Conservation 8: 329–346.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1997. Proposal to list the Preble's meadow jumping mouse as an endangered species. Federal Register 62: 14093-14101.

Whitaker Jr., J. O. 1972. Zapus hudsonius. Mammalian Species 11: 1-7.

Wilson, D. E. and Ruff, S. 1999. The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.


Citation: Linzey, A.V. & NatureServe (Hammerson, G.) 2008. Zapus hudsonius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 24 September 2014.
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