Thursday, 15 October 2015

Micro-mouse micro-management

Volunteers Peter and Mark setting up humane Longworth traps

Because we are gluttons for punishment, we decided to have another crack at monitoring Gatwick's resident Harvest Mice (Micromys minutus) in the North West Zone. Again, after a week of full-on surveying, with the finest smorgasbord ever presented (Braeburn apples, Scottish porridge oats, mealworms, casters, capped off with crunchy peanut butter) catering for even the fussiest of Harvest Mouse guests... we glimpsed not even a whisker!

River Mole floodplain grasslands, North West Zone

However, it is still a great excuse to delve into the world of Gatwick's other small mammals species. Here are a few snaps depicting our finds:

Bagging and weighing occupants

Common Shrew (Sorex araneus)

Common Shrew (Sorex araneus)

Pygmy Shrew (Sorex minutus)

Re-baiting the traps after the evening check

Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)

Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus)

To big to fit in our Longworths: Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)

Field Vole (Microtus agrestis)

Field Vole (Microtus agrestis)

The results of our camera trap efforts:



 Border Force Patrol Dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

Back-end of a Badger (Meles meles)

Eye-shine of a Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Ecologist (Homo sapiens sapiens)

NWZ Mammal survey species list 2015 (in rough size order):
  • Human
  • Roe Deer
  • Domestic dog
  • Badger
  • Red Fox
  • Rabbit
  • Field Vole
  • Wood Mouse
  • Common Shrew
  • Pygmy Shrew


Missing from this year's survey but recorded here previously:
  • Bank Vole
  • Yellow-necked Mouse
  • Harvest Mouse

Harvest Mouse (Micromys minutus), North West Zone in 2013

Many thanks to all of those who helped out on this year's survey: Brad, Martyn, Anna, Adrian, Peter, Sue, Mark, Jim, Annabelle, Kathryn, Emily and both the Surrey and Sussex Mammal Groups.