Footprints give researchers a leg up on jumping mouse

The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse has a unique footprint that helped researchers identify it. ©YouTube

How do you find a little mouse amid tall plants? That was the challenge facing researchers trying to detect the presence of the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (Zapus luteus luteus), an endangered subspecies in the Southwest. They used track plates to identify prints left by the jumping mouse’s unique feet and toes. The approach was so successful, the team created a 14-minute instructional video.

Watch the video below, or find the study published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin here.