© Mike Norton (Colorado)

Preble's meadow jumping mouse

Excerpts from Colorado Division of Wildlife Species Profile.  Click here for the full profile.


A bounding flash through dense streamside grass is the only glimpse most naturalists ever get of these beautiful mice. Two species occur in Colorado, the western jumping mouse and the meadow jumping mouse. These are stunning, yellowish brown mice with pure white bellies and a prominent buff stripe on the side. The species are difficult to distinguish in the field except by geography. The animals are about ten inches long, of which more than half is the thin, nearly naked tail. Weights are about an ounce.


Jumping mice live in vegetation near ponds and streams. Willow thickets or grassy aspen forests are prime habitat for the western jumping mouse. The habitat of the meadow jumping mouse probably has been greatly restricted by converting prairie potholes and other wetlands to irrigation reservoirs.

Conservation Status



Western jumping mouse occurs in the mountains; the meadow jumping mouse at the edge of the Great Plains up against the Rockies.


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