Wednesday, 9 May 2012
Harvest Mouse Release
It's that time again when we start thinking about releasing some of our harvest mice back into the wild. We have successfully bred these tiny mammals for many years, and last year looked at the possibility of introducing them onto our nature reserve and even tried a few trial releases.
They seemed to go very well, and so this year we are going for a big release to see if we can establish a small population in the reed banks around our wetland boardwalk. Below you can see the type of habitat they will inhabit, with nice thick bramble hedgerows nearby for them to use in the Winter. Within the reeds we have created a couple of soft-release pens. These act as halfway homes for the mice to live in, and acclimatise to the outside conditions, before the door is left open and they are free to explore the nature reserve a their own pace.
The first batch went out yesterday, making the most of the dry spell we have this week, and we plan to continue with several releases over the rest of the year.
Keep your eyes open next time you are wandering around our boardwalk, if you are patient and lucky enough you may well see some of our mice enjoying the reeds.