Harvest mice (Micromys minutus) are Britain’s smallest rodent, weighing around 4-6g as adults, with a head and body length of 50-70mm. They have golden fur and a pale underside with incredible semi-prehensile tails, meaning that their tail is adapted to be able to grasp or hold on to objects. They are very active climbers and so this is very handy for holding on to the stems of plants.
They prefer tall, dense grassy vegetation and build nests of woven grass above ground level in the stalk zone of the vegetation. They inhabit central Yorkshire southwards, with a higher density towards the South East, although isolated populations may be found outside of this range, possibly from the release of captive individuals.
Harvest mice have many predators including weasels, stoats, foxes, cats, owls, hawks, crows and even pheasants. They live on a diet of seeds, berries and insects and may feed on moss, fungi or roots. They live on average for around 18 months.
If you spot any harvest mice or their field signs (such as their round nests) please do report your sighting on The Mammal Society website so that we can include it in our National Mammal Atlas Project (NMAP) which is working to paint a fuller picture of the whereabouts and numbers of our British mammals.
To find out more about mammals or how you can help them please visit The Mammal Society website below: