The winter nesting environment of the harvest mouse <i>Micromys minutus</i> in small semi-natural grasslands
- Other Title
- ショウキボ ハンシゼン クサチ ニ オケル カヤネズミ ノ トウキ ノ エイソウ カンキョウ
Search this article
The harvest mouse Micromys minutus (Pallas, 1771) builds spherical nests of grass leaves about 1 m above the ground during its breeding season. However, its nesting behavior during winter remains largely unknown. We clarified the effects of winter vegetation on M. minutus winter nesting environments. During the winter of 2016, we surveyed overwintering nests in 19 grasslands that had been surveyed during the 2014 and 2015 breeding seasons, and recorded nest properties and environmental factors. We found 12 overwintering nests in nine grasslands. Vegetation cover positively affected wintering nests. The average height of overwintering nests was 28.92 ± 13.12 cm (mean ± standard deviation); winter nests were lower in height than summer nests. Summer nest heights were affected by total vegetation height. Overwintering nests were not affected by vegetation height; however, winter mowing negatively affected overwintering nests. In areas where many overwintering nests are found, plants 30 cm in height appear to be important for conservation of this species.
- Japanese Journal of Conservation Ecology
Japanese Journal of Conservation Ecology 24 (1), 31-38, 2019
The Ecological Society of Japan