Threat of Lawsuit To Protect Western Jumping Mouse

July 11, 2014

(Photo courtesy of WildEarth Guardians)
New Mexico meadow jumping mouse "Zapus hudsonius luteus"
(Map courtesy of WildEarth Guardians)
The geographic distribution of the New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse and three of its subspecies.

Environmentalists plan to file a lawsuit today against the federal government. The group wants better protection for a rare western mouse.

The Santa Fe-based environmental group WildEarth Guardians wants the federal government to do more to protect the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse. Environmentalists said they want greater protection of the mouse’s habitat in New Mexico and Arizona.

The mouse was recently added to the list of endangered species. The agency said cattle grazing in areas where the mouse lives limits the small animal’s access to national forest land and water.

The United States Forest Service has proposed fencing off some areas to keep livestock and campers out. Ranchers want the agency to find a way to allow for grazing and still protect the mouse.