Harvest Mouse Officer, Deborah Wright, wants to hear from you… Have you seen a harvest mouse recently, or perhaps seen a nest hidden away in some long grass?
I’m working on a new project with Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, funded by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species. Harvest mice numbers are currently thought to be in decline, most likely because of habitat loss and changes in farming practices. Through surveys and sightings information I hope to find out where harvest mice are distributed throughout the county, so that we can get a clearer picture of their location and their decline.
You can help us to find out more about our harvest mice by sending me information of any recent sightings in Warwickshire (firstname.lastname@example.org), or you can fill in the sightings form on the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust website. If possible, be sure to include details of what you saw, when, the type of habitat, and the location.
Not sure what you’re looking for?
Harvest mice are russet-coloured with a white belly, small furry ears, a short muzzle, and quite large eyes. They are also the only British mammals with a prehensile tail (a tail that can grip onto things, and therefore be used as a kind of fifth leg). The tail is quite long as opposed to the short tail of similar-looking voles. Harvest mice generally live in tall and dense grassy vegetation, such as long grass or reeds. They weave impressive and characteristic nests from split grass leaves, which are often situated above ground and fastened to the surrounding vegetation. You can read more about them on the Mammal Society website.