ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) – Officials say about one square mile of a national forest will be temporarily closed to protect the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse.
The Alamagordo Daily News reports the Lincoln National Forest and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services issued the closure order for tiny segments along the Sacramento Ranger District that total less than one square mile (2.59 sq. kilometers). The closure will start April 15 and end Nov. 15.
Officials say the New Mexico jumping mouse is rare. The areas were designated as critical habitats for the animal. The LNF press release says the closure will also protect visitors from electric shock as the agency has set up temporary electric fences in the areas. The fences will protect the mice while still allowing livestock to access water near the mice habitat.