Habitat characteristics of harvest mouse nests on arable farmland.

  • Published source details Bence S.L., Stander K. & Griffiths M. (2003) Habitat characteristics of harvest mouse nests on arable farmland.. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 99, 179-186.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Create beetle banks on farmland

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Create beetle banks

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Create beetle banks on farmland

    A site comparison study in 1998 on an arable farm in Leicestershire, UK (Bence et al. 2003) found that beetle banks had higher densities of harvest mouse Micromys minutus nests than did field margins. The density of harvest mouse nests in beetle banks (117/ha) was higher than in field margins (14/ha). Beetle banks, created in 1992–1994, were 2–2.5 m wide, positioned down field centres and sown with tussock-forming grasses. They were cut during the first year but not thereafter. Field margins were ≥1 m wide, comprised perennial grasses and herbs and were mostly uncut. Harvest mouse nests were surveyed in September–November 1998 along 1,800 m length of beetle banks and 9,800 m length of field margins.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

  2. Create beetle banks

    A controlled study in autumn 1998 on a predominantly arable farm in Leicestershire, UK (Bence et al. 2003) found overall more harvest mouse Micromys minutus nests in beetle banks (117 nests/ha) than field margins (14 nests/ha) although this difference was not statistically tested. Beetle banks were created and sown with grasses such as cock’s-foot Dactylis glomerata between September 1992 and 1994 and cut regularly in the year of establishment. Field margins were often adjacent to a hedgerow and normally left uncut. The two habitats were hand searched for harvest mouse nests in September to November, in a total of 1.8 km of beetle banks and 9.8 km of field margins. This study was part of the same experimental set-up as (Collins et al. 1996, Moreby & Southway 2002, Murray et al. 2002, Collins et al. 2003).


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