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Harvest mice made famous by Beatrix Potter make a comeback

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by DavidBrown, 22 Jan 2016.

  1. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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  2. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

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    One of my clients cats once caught one a few years ago now, I managed to get it off him, and kept it for weeks in an old aquarium and released it back into the garden whence it came.the following spring, it hadn't grown at all so must have been adult when I got it. It was very small.
    Some small collections have them here in the UK, and they are also available to keep personally from breeders. They are an interesting animal to watch,as I don't think they can jump, the one I had just scrambled around on twigs and the netting on top of the tank, they can move fast rather like small primates using the prehensile tale to hold on with.
     
  3. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    The village of Selbourne, where the mice have become re-established, was the home of Gilbert White who was the first person to describe the species. He ought to be much more famous than Miss Potter, except perhaps in the Lake District.
    The best exhibit I have seen for this species is at Slimbridge. Chester have bred a lot of them for release in local area, but I don't think they have ever put them on display, which is rather a shame.

    Alan
     
  4. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Newquay also has a rather nice exhibit for this taxon, if memory serves me correctly. I've seen the species in the wild once or twice, but only fleetingly.
     
  5. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

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    Actually the illustration used on the link shows a field/wood mouse rather than a harvest mouse I don't know if potter wrote about harvest mice as her stories are an anathema to me, why do rabbits need shoes and jackets for example?
     
  6. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I think the nicest Harvest Mouse exhibit that I have seen is the one at the British Wildlife Centre, which I have attached a picture of. (there are actually two harvest mice enclosures at BWC).

    I have also seen the species in the wild, fleetingly, once. (I think somewhere in Kent)
     

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  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Peter Rabbit spends a lot of time trying to steal vegetables from Mr McGregor's garden, which is why he wears shoes - so any suspicion over footprints will lead back to the local children and not the local rabbits. He wears the jacket, I suspect, for much the same reason - so if Mr McGregor spots him from his kitchen window he won't open fire with his shotgun immediately, just in case it is little Timothy from across the way. Mr McGregor may be a cantankerous old coot, but he isn't a murderer, and wily Peter Rabbit knows this.

    I think a much more important question is why does Peter Rabbit wear shoes and a jacket but no trousers? Especially because the lady rabbits are fully clothed in giant dresses, but the male rabbits just walk around with no pants on at all. I find that disturbing.
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    New Forest Wildlfe Park is another that displays Harvest Mice (and presumably breeds them for release?). Can't remember ever seeing them in the wild- I have looked for the nests in the past though and I may have actually seen these mice a long time ago. Have definately seen Dormice though.

    Peter Rabbit's lack of trousers- maybe the original naked rambler?
     
  9. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    For the same reason Disney's Duck family is constantly going for the bottomless look...?
     
  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I've always questioned why Donald Duck doesn't wear any pants when he is clothed, but when he gets out of the bath he wraps a towel round his waist.
     
  11. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    and most Australians of a certain age are familiar with a Mr H.B.Bear, a popular childrens entertainer, who not only was mute but wore a spiffing waistcoat, tie and boater but never any pants.
     
  12. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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  13. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    it must be horrific indeed, whatever it is! Clicking on the link just gives me the message "Forbidden: You do not have permission to access this document."
     
  14. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Just google "Goleo VI". And be prepared for a hideous abomination, born out of corruption, greed and poor taste.
     
  15. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Well-Known Member

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    The Horniman Museum had some in a vivarium a few years back, not sure if they still have them though
     
  16. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    I believe the Horniman still has harvest mice in their "Nature Base". Elsewhere in London, the Battersea Park Children's Zoo has two indoor enclosures, and Somerset's Secret World Wildlife Rescue also breeds the species for release.

    An interesting article on the topic, if somewhat outdated:
    http://www.wildwoodtrust.org/files/harvest-mouse-captive-breeding.pdf