Sunday, September 8, 2013

Woodland Jumping Mouse In the Wild - First Time on Video!


Woodland Jumping Mouse
Woodland Jumping Mouse
Lucky break while staking out Flying Squirrels I apparently captured the only known video on the "Web" or at least in the Google World of a Woodland Jumping Mouse in the wild. Of course the individual mice are very small in this night-vision video captured using a Bushnell HD Trail Cam, but what one can see - are the amazing jumps and that of course, is what is the key attribute of this species. Able to jump well over several meters in a single bound, the Woodland Jumping Mouse is an amazing member of the rodent family, rarely, if ever, filmed at night in its natural environment.

In the video they can be seen making easy jumps of 5 to 6 feet. They do very little "walking". Nocturnal, this wild and crazy group of jumping mice live at nearly 4000 feet elevation in an Eastern Hemlock grove on the banks of a small stream in the Great Smoky Mountains - a choice habitat for them. There is leftover seed on the ground from daytime feeding of birds that they are after.  A Flying Squirrel is also in the mix - you will note how the jump of the squirrel is not even comparable. The tails of the Woodland Jumping Mice are much longer than their bodies and their rear feet are large. They are more often found in eastern Canada, but populations remain at the higher elevations of the southern Appalachians. They apparently relish the colder winters as they are hibernators and only active during the warmer months. Here are some links to more information:
http://www.dnr.sc.gov/cwcs/pdf/woodlandjumpingmousem.pdf
http://www.mnh.si.edu/mna/image_info.cfm?species_id=207

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