The Minute Micro Mouse
We’ve recently kicked off our ‘Rewilding Ealing’ initiative with the reintroduction of locally extinct and nationally threatened species, the diminutive Harvest Mouse. Also known by its scientific name of Micromys minutus, or the ‘minute micro mouse’, it’s the UK and Europe’s smallest rodent, and the only one with a prehensile tail designed to cling to the finest of grass stalks and vegetation as it climbs.
Last year we outlined the aims, preliminary survey work and preparations for the project in a live webinar, a recording is available to watch here:
We were thrilled with the reaction to our crowdfunding campaign, helping us raise funds to source mice in large numbers for release and allowing us to buy equipment and housing for our own captive breeding facility. We asked our community of wildlife fans to sponsor a mouse for £10 and reached our target within days. The crowdfunder, which is still open to donations to support our borough-wide conservation efforts, can be found here:
We’ve partnered with Calderglen Zoo in East Kilbride near Glasgow, which has been breeding Harvest Mice and delivered the first mice we released to form the foundation of our own captive breeding colony. Heather is a great partner in this project and continues to send us mice periodically, we also get mice from Devon and the New Forest, to keep our mice genetically diverse and healthy!
Since the initial release we’ve had quite a bit of interest and coverage including BBC London and Scotland news. Check out the release and see these amazing little rodents being set free into the wild after a potential absence of 30-40 years from our borough here: