Meadow Jumping Mouse - Hibernation and Reproduction

Hibernation and Reproduction

Hibernation begins around late September and early October. At the moment of entering hibernation there is a decrease in metabolism, because of the jumping mouse going into torpor. Hibernation lasts until about mid April to May, with males and females emerging at about the same time with males emerging slightly earlier than females. From the time that the meadow jumping mouse goes into hibernation to the time it comes out there is a significant amount of weight loss. When the male emerges from hibernation it starts feeding and is immediately reproductively active. Once the female emerges which is only a short time after the males, they begin mating, and only about two weeks after emergence all the females are pregnant and gestation begins. Gestation lasts about eighteen days, although this can be a bit longer if the female is still nursing her previous litter. The average litter size is said to be 5.3 young, but can range anywhere from two to nine young. The jumping mouse is capable of having two to three litters per year, with most litters weaned between June and August. Studies have shown that on average the jumping mouse has a litter during late spring after emergence and then again in later summer, with very little reproductive activity in mid summer.

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