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
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