The ecology of Wood Mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) on arable farmland.
The ecology of Wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus) was studied by live trapping and by examining the stomach contents of killed animals on an arable farm in West Suffolk. The study area included several fields but only a short length of hedgerow and was distant from other hedges and woods. Wood mice were trapped in the open fields throughout the year and their burrows were also found there. Population densities were comparable with those reported from deciduous woodland and seasonal population changes, ranging behaviour and timing of the breeding season were also broadly similar. The survival rate of juvenile mice varied greatly within and between breeding seasons tending to improve when young of the year replaced overwintered animals in the adult breeding population. Wood mice showed no marked preference for fields with different crops in winter when the main foods were grain, waste sugar beet roots, weed seeds and soil invertebrates. In spring and early summer they preferred winter wheat fields where seeding weeds provided most of their food.