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Did you see the chest/neck markings well enough to eliminate yellow-necked mouse, as you are potentially within the species' range?
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Almost certainly a wood mouse but without seeing the chest yellow-necked mouse can not be ruled out.
Therefore, put up an identification of Apodemus sp. and I'll agree with it.
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Thank you, yes, I have measured, weighed and checked every animal and looked for the neck spot/collar. half of them does not have anything and the others have a very small elongated spot.
That's useful info. Krisztina - the elongated spot indicates wood mouse so I've agreed on that basis.
Thanks Krisztina, as with Gill I'm happy to agree if it has been checked for Yellow-necked mouse. As long as the yellow band is not complete from shoulder to shoulder it must be a wood mouse so I'll agree . . . unless it is one of the mythical hybrids . . . but I'm not going there!
Do they co-exist next to each other? If a habitat perfect for the wood mouse, would the yellow-necked mouse move in there too? And if not why? Also if there is an abundant wood mouse population in one place why there are no shrews can be found there?
Would wood mouse and yellow-necked mouse interbreed withe each other? Would the offspring be capable of breeding itself?
Many thanks for answers and help!
The two species are sympatric over the yellow-necked mouse's (more restricted) range but as far as whether they can interbreed, the answer appears to be that they don't - there are scholarly articles going back quite a few years on this subject (I found one from 1965 called 'Fertility Among Races of the Field Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) and their Failure to Form Hybrids with the Yellow-Necked Mouse (Apodemus flavicollis)' (http://www.jstor.org/stable/2406372) which describes how attempts were made to get the two species to breed in captivity, to no avail).
Regarding no shrews being found where there are mice, have you been Longworth trapping and found no shrews? If so this could be for a number of reasons - if your traps are baited with apple (for rodents) rather than meal worms, shrews may not investigate, but if they do and your traps have shrew holes (which they should have unless you're licenced to trap shrews), they will exit out of the holes anyway. Also, some species (notably wood mice and bank voles) are just more curious about traps and more likely to go in them - sometimes several times (hence the need to mark trapped individuals to avoid them being double-counted). Lastly, the many photos of dead shrews posted on iSpot recently suggest that 2013 is turning out to be a really tough year for shrews, so numbers will be down anyway.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom :) It was very interesting to read. Wonder why is a though year for shrews?
As for the traps, yes, I m using Longworth traps, altogether 80 of them, that's why I was hopeful that I'll catch at least a vole..?
I m using a mixture of everything really, handful of oats, dry cat food, apples, bit of seeds and casters (which they seem to adore), just to make everyone happy. My biggest problem is foxes, they destroyed 6 of my traps, opened them up and happily eat everything even carrots!
My biggest bane are ferral cats,I've lost half a dozen to large toms over the years.
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