The harvest mouse is classified by the Mammal Society as being on the Red List as a ‘near threatened’ species. Population decline is thought to be due to changes in habitat management and agricultural methods. Harvest mice are at the bottom of the food chain, providing a food source for a wide range of species, therefore where harvest mice thrive, other species do well too.
The Devon Mammal Group set up the Harvest Mouse Project in 2016 to address the lack of information known about harvest mice numbers and locations in the county. The project has trialled innovative ways of surveying for harvest mice and worked with volunteers and landowners to raise awareness of harvest mice and their habitat requirements.
The project aims to identify where harvest mice are found, trialling innovative ways of surveying for harvest mice and raising awareness by:
- Running training sessions around the county to find and identify the harvest mouse nests
- Organising group surveys
- Running a camera trapping project
- A map to show where harvest mice have been found
- Piloting a new owl pellet survey to find new locations
DEF’s funding will enable this excellent and impactful project to continue for the 2023-24 season.
Images courtesy of the Devon Mammal Group.