Eurasian harvest mouse Facts

Eurasian harvest mouse Facts
Eurasian harvest mouse is small mammal that belongs to the group of rodents. It can be found in dry reed beds, temperate grasslands, meadows, hedgerows and agricultural fields in Europe and Asia. Modern farming methods (usage of grain harvesting machines and various pesticides) and climate changes are the greatest threats for the survival of Eurasian harvest mice in the wild. Even though Eurasian harvest mice are not as numerous as they were in the past, they are still not on the list of endangered species.
Interesting Eurasian harvest mouse Facts:
Eurasian harvest mouse is the smallest species of rodent in Europe. It can reach 2.2 to 2.9 inches in length and 0.14 to 0.39 ounces of weigh.
Body of Eurasian harvest mouse is covered with grey-brown (young animals) or reddish to golden-brown fur (adults). Bottom side of the body is white colored.
Eurasian harvest mouse has blunt muzzle, small eyes, short, hairy ears and short whiskers.
Eurasian harvest mouse has long, naked tail covered with 120 to 150 rings. Tail is prehensile. It facilitates climbing on the grass (and reed) and provides balance.
Eurasian harvest mouse can be active both during the night and day. During the winter, Eurasian harvest mouse usually searches food during the day. When daily temperatures start to rise, it becomes active during the night.
Eurasian harvest mouse is an omnivore (diet based on plants and animals). It eats various seed, berries, fruit, buds, shoots, moss, fungi and insects.
European harvest mouse was inevitable part of the manual harvest of grains in the past (before introduction of heavy machinery). That's how it earned the name "harvest mouse".
European harvest mouse has excellent sense of hearing which is used for detection of predators.
Natural enemies of European harvest mice are owls, crows, hawks, foxes, stoats, weasels and cats.
Eurasian harvest mouse is solitary and territorial animal. Males occupy territory of 400 square meters (females occupy much smaller territories).
European harvest mouse is active all year round (it does not hibernate). It builds small nest above the ground where it stores food and hides during the cold weather.
Mating season of Eurasian harvest mice takes place from May to October.
Females weave spherical nests made of grass. They are slightly larger than a tennis ball and located in tall grass, 3 feet above the ground.
Females produce 3 to 7 litters per year. Pregnancy lasts 17 to 19 days and ends with 3 to 9 babies. Even though Eurasian harvest mice are naked, blind and helpless at birth, they become ready for the independent life at the age of 16 days. They reach sexual maturity at the age of 6 weeks.
Eurasian harvest mouse can survive 18 months (6 months on average) in the wild and up to 5 years in the captivity.

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