Mice, Voles & Shrews
Mice, voles and shrews are superficially similar but taxonomically diverse small mammals that are abundant throughout Europe where they form the base for many food webs. They're all rodents (i.e. members of the Rodentia order of mammals) but are classified into different families. Dormice are assigned to the Gliridae, voles to Cricetidae and mice to the Muridae. Globally, about 41% of all known living mammal species are rodents, making it the most diverse order with some 2,100 species. Britain is home to 17 species of rodent, nine native and the remaining eight introduced. Initially, Wildlife Online will look to cover eight species: the hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius); the edible dormouse (Glis glis); the bank vole (Myodes glareolus); the water vole (Arvicola terrestris); the harvest mouse (Micromys minutus); the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus); the common shrew (Sorex araneus); and the water shrew (Neomys fodiens).
Some of these species are considered pests (particularly mice) for their penchant for feeding on seeds and sometimes entering houses, while others (e.g. shrews) feed on invertebrate species that can be agricultural pests and are thus seen as beneficial. These , along with more exotic species such as hamsters and lemmings, are grouped together in the Cricetidae. They're all small mammals
A widely distributed and common rodent, bank voles are not uncommon garden visitors, even in urban areas but stick close to cover.
Introduced to Hertfordshire in 1902, Edible dormice are now established around the Chilterns, and spreading slowly south and west.
Probably Britain's least-seen rodent, the "sleepy mouse" is an iconic species of hazel woodland and one of the UK's true hibernators.
A small mammal once common along Britain's rivers, pollution and mink caused a serious decline but water voles may be seeing a resurgence.
No questions exist for this group.
Dormice: A Tale of Two Species - by Pat Morris
Whittet Books -- 2011 -- ISBN: 978-1873580820
The Dormouse (2nd Edition) - by Paul Bright & Pat Morris
The Mammal Society -- 2005 -- ISBN: 978-0906282533
The Hazel Dormouse - by Rimvydas Juskaitis & Sven Buchner
Westarp Wissenschaften -- 2013 -- ISBN: 978-3894322595