Our latest clip of the week shows a harvest mouse climbing a thistle. Explore the microworld of one of Europe’s smallest and cutest mammals!
If you’d like to find our more about NPL’s footage, why not come and meet us at Footage Marketplace next Wednesday May 15th?
The harvest mouse (Micromys minutus) is the smallest European rodent. It is unusual in possessing a prehensile tail, which it uses to climb amongst grasses, reedbeds, crops and other vegetation. Harvest mice build circular nests out of strips of grass which they use for breeding, resting and sleeping.
Take a look at our new Harvest Mouse gallery, which includes both still images and video clips.
The species is widely distributed in Europe and Asia. However, numbers are thought to have declined due to habitat loss and changes in farming practices. In fact, research funded by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species in Northamptonshire has used trained sniffer dogs to locate this tiny and elusive animal. This is helping improve understanding of the distribution of harvest mice, which will assist in conservation measures to protect the species. In other parts of the UK, captive-bred harvest mice are being successfully reintroduced to the wild.