House mice and wood mice in and around an agricultural building


  • F. H. Tattersall

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pure and Applied Zoology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, P.O. Box 228, Reading RG6 2AJ, U.K.
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    • Current address: Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Department of Zoology, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, U.K.

All correspondence to: 2 Eysey, Cricklade, Swindon, Wiltshire SN6 6LP, U.K. E-mail:


Wood mice Apodemus sylvaticus and house mice Mus domesticus are two of the commonest and most intensively studied British mammals. However, relative to the vast literature on non-commensal and laboratory house mice (Berry, 1981, 1991), and woodland wood mice (Flowerdew, Gurnell & Gipps, 1985; Flowerdew, 1991) little is known of the ecology of either species in and around farm buildings. Farm buildings and their surroundings are particularly important for house mice, which are a major stored-product pest (Meehan, 1984). In Britain they live largely indoors but also make limited use of hedges and fields in the summer (Rowe & Swinney, 1977; Montgomery & Dowie, 1993). Wood mice are very abundant on agricultural land, and occasionally use buildings (Green, 1979; Montgomery & Dowie, 1993; Tew & Macdonald, 1993).