Harvest Mouse

Latin NameMicromys minutus

Size – 5-7cm

Weight – the average adult weighs approximately 6 grams

Appearance – Sandy brown with a pale underside. Tail is the same size as head and body. Also has small hairy ears, small eyes and a blunt muzzle.

Diet – Mainly seeds and fruit. Will occasionally eat invertebrates.

Habitat preference – Tussocks, reedbeds, woodland edges and farmland.

Conservation status – Due to factors such as agricultural intensification, land use change and habitat management strategies, harvest mice are considered near threatened in Great Britain and are therefore listed under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.

(Bernard Stam, 2013)

National Harvest Mouse Survey

The Harvest mouse is a Near Threatened species in the United Kingdom. Previous research has suggested the decline in harvest mouse numbers could be as severe as 70% in the UK. These is assumed to be related to agricultural intensification, pesticide use, poor land management practices and severe winters.

The National Harvest Mouse Survey was created by the Mammal Society in 2021 to monitor harvest mice populations throughout the UK. This was developed to help fill in knowledge gaps and assist in conservation strategies for the species. Although studies have suggested the extent to which harvest mice populations have been declining, there is no true estimate of harvest mice abundance in the UK; hence the need to survey the species.

Due to the low risk of disturbing breeding nests, the National Harvest Mouse Survey takes place between October and March. Surveys are relatively quick (roughly a couple of hours), and require minimal amounts of equipment. If you would like to get involved in a Harvest mouse survey event, please contact us below or keep your eyes peeled for more harvest mouse surveys on our Events page.

(Andy Morffew, 2020)

SMG Involvement

Recently, SMG has been involved in the National Harvest Mouse Survey; with four training events and one survey event hosted by SMG in 2022. Prior attempts were held back due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

In October 2022, our survey found two abandoned harvest mouse nests, and a scattering of other signs such as droppings, therefore suggesting other areas in south Shropshire may have small harvest mouse populations. Currently we are scouting for other areas where harvest mice may have established themselves. If you have knowledge of areas in Shropshire where harvest mice have been spotted or meet the criteria for their habitat preference, please contact us using the ‘Contact Us’ box below.

SMG Harvest Mouse Events

Current Events

Currently there are no harvest mouse events available. However, please keep your eyes peeled for updates on this page and the Events page to see when the next surveys will take place.

Past Locations

  • 08/12/2022 Dothill Local Nature Reserve
  • 06/11/2022 Tibberton, Newport (training event)
  • 30/10/2022 Cudwell Meadow, Church Stretton (training event)
  • 16/10/2022 Doxey Marshes, Stafford (training event)
  • 02/10/2022 Chester Zoo (training event)


If you know of any locations where Harvest mice may have established themselves or would like to get involved in the National Harvest Mouse Survey, please contact us below.