The Gapper’s Red-backed Mouse, also called the Red-Backed Vole, is a small, brown mammal that is quite numerous in many coniferous forests throughout Canada, the Rocky Mountains, and the Appalachians. He is an extraordinary tree climber and will often climb all over dead and live trees in search of a place to build a nest. Through his constant gnawing on the tree bark, the Gapper’s Red-Backed Mouse has been known at times to kill trees as large as a foot in diameter.
With its many predators, the Gapper’s Red-Backed Mouse typically has a short lifespan; but it reproduces at such a high rate that he is often the most numerous mammal in the forest. As you may imagine, this small, bottom-of-the-food-chain mammal is highly important to the forest’s ecosystem.
Dwelling more abundantly in the northern regions, and preferring to live in a more humid or moist environment, the Gapper’s Red-backed Mouse is more likely to be seen in Bryce Canyon than in Zion National Park, especially in an area where there is plenty of water and something of a marshland such as you may find just a few miles outside of Bryce Canyon National Park at a small reservoir called “Tropic Reservoir.”