Petra's picture


Observed: 15th April 2009 By: PetraPetra’s reputation in Mammals

Ran across the lawn. Then it was so dozy that I almost picked it up off the garden! Just out of hibernation I think. The habitat would have led me to think it was a Harvest Mouse however the tail was too short and quite thick looking. This is a photo taken from Google Images.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


Martin Harvey's picture


What a great thing to have in your garden!

Entomologist and biological recorder

Petra's picture

I was a bit surprised! We

I was a bit surprised! We live in a very rural area. We have a herd of fallow deer who live just beyond the garden, regular visits from the fox (to the demise of our chicken stock!) and signs of badger. I disturbed a shrews nest the year before last near my compost I guess a Common shrew but I didn't see mum so I cant be sure. Plenty of rats and mice of course too!

Petra Carpenter (PhD in badger mating systems)

the naturalist man's picture

We have two dormouse the

We have two dormouse the native Hazel or Common Dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) and the introduced (1902) Edible or Fat Dormouse(Glis glis). However the edible dormouse is only found in the Chilterns.

The first obvious question is do you know if dormouse are found in your area. I used to live in Shropshire for a while and only knew on sites in the Clun area but there could be ones near you.

The second question is, is there suitable habitat near you, e.g. woodland with dense hazel scrub or hazel hedges?

If you are not sure then you could contact the Shropshire Mammal Group at:

You should report the sighting to them anyway as the dormouse is a BAP (Biodiversity Action Plan) species.

Unfortunately, there is not enough in your description to be sure it was a dormouse. This is the time they are coming out of hibernation however, other mice, e.g. wood mouse can also react in the way you describe when ill, old, frightened or habitualised to humans. There are other reports on iSpot of people being able to pick up a dopy/tame wood mouse. I'd be interested in what the mammal group have to say about distribution in your area.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'

Hev B's picture


I am confused - looked at the image to try to confirm the identification and then noticed the image was from google images, not the dormouse seen. Is this something which can be done? I have just put description if I couldnt get a photo for my observations. clarification please!

DavidHowdon's picture

If you have copyright to the image

I don't think including it is prohibited but it adds nothing to the information provided since it tells you nothing about the particular creature the person has seen.

Here all we have is that the observer states that "the tail was too short and quite thick looking" and that it "looked like a Dormouse". For me I would not be confident agreeing with the ID on the basis of just this information.

David Howdon

the naturalist man's picture

Illustration confusion

My feeling is there is no reason why you should not illustrate an observation with a 'stock photo'. However:

1: it should be made very clear the photo is not the animal/plant observed, as in this case.

2: Any ID agreements should NOT be based on the photo if not of the actual observation. Without a photo of the actual observation I would want a great deal of information and need to be absolutely sure before agreeing to an identification. That does not mean you should not put up such observations. Indeed I find the best observations, especially of birds and mammals, are impossible to capture because they are over too quickly or you have not got your camera with you.

In this case Petra has made it clear that the photo is from Google. Also, personally, I would want more evidence before agreeing to the identification and have asked for such.

I hope this helps, perhaps someone from the iSpot team could clarify the 'official' situation.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'