Harvest mouse

©Amy Lewis

Harvest mouse

Scientific name: Micromys minutus
The harvest mouse is tiny - an adult can weigh as little as a 2p piece! It prefers habitats with long grass, but you are most likely to spot its round, woven-grass nests.

Species information

Statistics

Length: 5-7cm
Tail: 6cm
Weight: 4-6g
Average lifespan: 1.5 years

Conservation status

Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework.

When to see

January to December

About

The tiny harvest mouse lives in long tussocky grassland, reedbeds, hedgerows, farmland and around woodland edges. It is mainly vegetarian, eating seeds and fruits, but will also eat invertebrates. Harvest mice build a spherical nest of tightly woven grass, high-up in the tall grasses, in which the female will give birth to around six young.

How to identify

The harvest mouse has pale, ginger or yellow fur, and a white belly. Its tail is almost hairless and nearly as long as its body.

Distribution

Found in England, south of Yorkshire.

Did you know?

The harvest mouse is the only British mammal to have a prehensile tail: it can use it like a fifth limb, holding on to grass stems with it.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.