Factors affecting the distribution of small mammals in an urban area



We investigated the distribution of a range of small mammal species in five urban habitats in north-west Bristol: residential gardens, woodlands, allotment gardens, scrub and a cemetery. Wood mouse Apodemus sylvaticus abundance in residential gardens was negatively related to the abundance of cats and the distance to the nearest patch of natural or seminatural vegetation. These results suggest that urban small mammal populations may be limited by predation and habitat fragmentation, although the effects of the latter may be offset by the availability of good quality gardens.