Can YOU help Britain’s harvest mice?
If you are interested in being involved in the National Harvest Mouse Survey as a volunteer, trainer, or coordinator in your area, please fill out the short form here so we can add you to our list and keep you posted on the survey. You can also email our Data & Information Officer Charlie on
Why harvest mice?
The harvest mouse (Micromys minutus) is Britain’s smallest rodent and, because of habitat loss and changes in farming practices, it is now thought to be in decline – but how much do we know about the British population of harvest mice and where they are found?
Unfortunately, the answer is very little according to The Review of the Population and Conservation Status of British Mammals carried out by the Mammal Society in 2018. The IUCN-approved Red List of British Mammals now classifies the harvest mouse as Near Threatened in Great Britain and Critically Endangered in Scotland.
What we are doing
Autumn 2021 marks the start of our biggest national harvest mouse survey yet! Groups of harvest mouse volunteers will be searching up and down the country for harvest mouse nests so we can record where this species has and has not been found. Some of you may have taken part in harvest mouse nest searches before, but if you have not, we can put you in touch with a volunteer harvest mouse trainer near you and surveyors in your area. You can register your interest through this form or contact our Data & Information Officer Charlie at email@example.com
How to record on surveys?
The Society’s Mammal Mapper App is geared up to record the information needed specifically for this project and more information on how to use the app for the survey will be available on this webpage soon. However, if you would rather record your findings on paper, there will also be a printable recording sheet available to download soon.
July 2021: Keep an eye on this webpage for training materials and other guidance documents as they become available.
September – March: The Survey period! During this time training will also be held so you will be ready to hunt for those nests!
March 2022 onwards: We will be analysing the records and let you know what we have found. We then aim to repeat the survey in 2022-2023.
What do I do if I find a harvest mouse nest?
Full details of the survey protocol will be available soon, but in short, there are 3 ways you can tell us about your record:
- Record it on our Mammal Mapper app – this is free to download from your smartphone’s app store
- Fill out an online recording form here
- Email our Data & Information Officer Charlie: firstname.lastname@example.org
Will the survey involve handling mice?
No, the nest survey is non invasive and mice will not be captured or handled.
Will looking for nests disturb the mice?
The survey is taking place over the autumn and winter when plants have died back. This is the best time to be able to spot nests without disturbing the animals.
I want to volunteer but I’ve never surveyed before and don’t want to go out on my own
We can put you in touch with trainers, coordinators and surveyors in your area. This way you will (Covid-permitting) be able to join a training session and learn exactly how to carry out the survey. The Mammal Society team and coordinators will also be able to help you find surveyors in your area so you do not have to go out on your own.
I already belong to a group that regularly surveys for harvest mice
We’d love to know more! We want to work with as many groups already conducting harvest mouse surveys as possible so we can work together to collect data. The aim of our survey plan is to make it as easy as possible for groups already conducting surveys to join in without having to change what they’re doing. Let us know on email@example.com
I’m not able to come on surveys but I still want to be involved
Let us know and we can put you on our mailing lists to forewarn you when regional or national meetings (probably virtual meetings) to discuss the results will be held (Fill in this form or email our Data & Information Officer Charlie: firstname.lastname@example.org).