Supported by the Kent Mammal Group, our surveying and monitoring of Kent’s harvest mice enters a new phase in the autumn and winter of 2021-2022, as we extend our searches to gather data for a national survey. The survey is being organised by the national body dedicated to the scientific study of mammals, the Mammal Society.
Building on the extensive database from our survey we will be seeking records from new locations in the county and, we hope, renewing our acquaintance with harvest mice on sites where they have been already recorded. Monitoring known sites is vitally important because harvest mouse populations fluctuate so wildly from year to year, for reasons that we do not yet fully understand. Monitoring can reveal trends over time and detect early signs of serious decline.
In addition, the picture in Kent is incomplete. There are still many blank spaces on our map where we are yet to survey, and some places that are likely to harbour harvest mice where we have looked but so far failed to find any. Every record helps us understand the mice in our county and will now feed into the national picture. Perhaps there is suitable habitat for harvest mice near you?
In order to be consistent in data collection up and down the country, new survey protocols have been drawn up by the Mammal Society in collaboration with Wildwood Trust, among others. That means that if you have trained with us before there are a few small updates to the methodology that you will need. We will make these available to download soon. Or, if you prefer you can join us for a refresher day that will include them; check out the Courses page on our website to find out when and how to join us.
For a high resolution version of the 2020 Kent Harvest Mouse Survey full report, please click here.