Meadow Jumping Mouse

Meadow Jumping Mouse.

Name

  • Common name: Meadow Jumping Mouse
  • Including: Western Jumping Mouse
  • Scientific name: Zapus hudsonius and Zapus princeps
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Family: Cricetidae

Also known as

Hudson Bay Jumping Mouse, Kangaroo Mouse

Viewing opportunities

  • The best way to glimpse a jumping mouse is to walk by brushy lakeshores and streambanks of southern Yukon.
  • Watch for movement in the grasses as the mice jump out of your way. They are well camouflaged and can be difficult to spot.
  • Their numbers are cyclic and some years are better than others.

Description

  • Slightly larger than a North American Deermouse.
  • Tawny coloured brown fur.
  • Long back legs.
  • Kangaroo-like enlarged hind-feet.
  • Extremely long furred tail.

Fast facts

  • Length: 20 cm
  • Weight: 12 to 30 g
  • Lifespan: unknown
  • Predators: Birds of prey, foxes, weasels, Northern Pike
  • Habitat: Boreal Forest

Conservation status

What is conservation status?

  • Yukon: S5 (Secure)
  • Global: G5 (Secure)

Yukon population estimate

Not determined.

Behaviour

Jumping mice are characterized by the great distances they cover in a jump. They will normally hop along like a kangaroo, but can leap several feet when startled. They are also superb swimmers and divers, kicking like frogs through the water. They are among the few species of northern mice that truly hibernate.

Diet

Seeds and berries.

Distribution

Meadow Jumping Mouse distribution map.

The Western Jumping Mouse is very rare in Yukon and only found in the extreme southeastern portions along the border with British Columbia.

Sights and sounds

Meadow Jumping Mouse track, front.
Meadow Jumping Mouse track, front: 1 x 0.6 cm.

Meadow Jumping Mouse track, hind.
Meadow Jumping Mouse track, hind: 2.5 x 0.6 cm.