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Updated Jun 10, 2014 - 11:44 am

Western mouse put on endangered list

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A rare mouse found in Arizona and two other western
states now has protection under the Endangered Species Act, and that’s expected
to aggravate ongoing battles between the federal government and ranchers over
water and property rights in drought-stricken areas.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued an order Monday listing the New
Mexico meadow jumping mouse as endangered.

The tiny mouse lives along streams and in wet areas in parts of New Mexico,
southern Colorado and eastern Arizona. Biologists say the biggest threats are
grazing and water use and management.

Regional officials with the U.S. Forest Service have acknowledged they will
have to put up fences or take other action to protect water sources for the
mouse. Ranchers said that could force them to abandon their grazing allotments.

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