Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Biologists find jumping mouse in three NM forests
Biologists who spent weeks in three New Mexico national forests searching for signs of an elusive, endangered mouse that looks somewhat like a tiny kangaroo have found what they call irrefutable evidence that it still lives in the state for which it is named.
The biologists trapped New Mexico meadow jumping mice and collected fur and fecal samples during summertime surveys in the southern Lincoln National Forest, the northern Santa Fe National Forest and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests along the New Mexico-Arizona border, Beth Humphrey, a district ranger with the U.S. Forest Service, said Tuesday.
With a tail that makes up for most of its length, the rodent is called a jumping mouse because it can leap more than 2 feet into the air when frightened. Super-long tails help the mice keep their balance, especially when they scale plant stems to reach ripening seeds, one their main food sources. The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse was listed as an endangered species in 2014, prompting the U.S. Forest Service to fence off streams and watering holes in the Lincoln and Santa Fe forests to protect habitat thought to be ideal. That spurred criticism from ranchers and others that the federal government was trampling private access to public lands in New Mexico. But last summer’s surveys turned up the first hard evidence that they still live in areas where they had not been spotted in years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in an emailed statement.