Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

Yellow-necked mice are nocturnal, being active for a single period each night (4). They feed on fruit, seedlings, buds and the odd invertebrate (4), often storing food within tunnel systems (3). All mice engage in 'refection' in order to fully digest food; they eat soft faeces that have passed through their digestive system once, allowing carbohydrates to be fully digested (3). Breeding occurs from March or April until October, although under some circumstances breeding may occur throughout the year (4). Before mating, males are known to produce a string of ultrasounds, which may serve to pacify the female (3). Gestation takes 25 or 26 days (3), and the litter, which consists of 2-11, but usually 5 young (4) is born at night in a nest (3). Nests may be made in underground tunnels, inside hollow logs, bird or dormice nesting boxes or in dense vegetation (3). Around three litters are produced each year (4), and females are able to conceive whilst still suckling the previous litter (3). The young are fully weaned after about 18 days, and usually start to breed the year following their birth, but if they were born early in the year they may breed during the year of birth (4). Dominant males may be aggressive, and have been reported to chase and even kill juveniles (3). This species does not hibernate; during winter a number of these mice may group together when sleeping for extra warmth (3). Yellow-necked mice are adept climbers, and as a result they feed in trees and bushes and enter houses more often than wood mice (3). Predators such as weasels and owls are often avoided by means of impressive leaps to safety, or by shedding the skin of the tail if it is gripped anywhere other than its base, allowing the mouse to escape. The skin does not grow back; instead that area of the tail dies and falls off (3).
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Description

Although generally larger in size, the yellow-necked mouse is very similar in appearance to the wood mouse (Apodmeus sylvaticus) and the two are often difficult to distinguish (3). Both species have brown fur with paler, white bellies (2), although the yellow-necked mouse may often be somewhat lighter in colour (3). The main difference between these mice is that, as the name suggests, the yellow-necked mouse has a collar of yellowish fur, which forms a bib on the chest (3). This collar is often fairly difficult to see, however (3).
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Distribution

Range Description

The yellow-necked mouse has a large range extending from Great Britain across much of continental Europe to the Urals (Russian Federation). It also found occurs through Turkey east to W Armenia, the Zagros Mountains of Iran and south to Syria, Lebanon and Israel.

In Europe, it is generally widespread, although it is absent from southern Iberia, western France, northern and central Fennoscandia and Russia, and most islands (including Ireland). It is present on some east Mediterranean islands. Occurs from sea level up to 1,850 m (Spitzenberger 2002).
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Range

The yellow-necked mouse has a patchy distribution and is restricted to the south and west of England (except Cornwall and Cheshire), and central and eastern Wales (4). In Europe they are found mainly in mountainous parts of southern Europe, but their range reaches further north into Scandinavia than that of the wood mouse (4).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits a variety of woodland habitats. It tends to be a forest edge species, but in the Alps it lives within forests (F. Spitzenberger in litt. 2006). Also occurs in open shrublands and secondary habitats. Its spatial distribution in large forest areas is related to the productivity and spatial distribution of forest trees with heavy seeds, mainly oak and hazel (Juškaitis 2002).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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This mouse appears to be associated with ancient or mature broadleaved woodlands, and usually occurs in close proximity to arable farmland. It may also inhabit orchards, field margins, wooded gardens, hedgerows and buildings in rural areas (4).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

The maximum life expectancy of Apodemus flavicollis in the wild is 18 months, the winter mortality is up to 80% (Jenrich, Löhr, Müller 2010).

  • JENRICH, J., LÖHR, P.-W. & MÜLLER, F. (2010). Kleinsäuger, Körper- und Schädelmerkmale, Ökologie. Fulda, Michael Imhof Verlag.
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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 4.5 years (captivity)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Apodemus flavicollis

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 63
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Amori, G., Hutterer, R., Kryštufek, B., Yigit, N., Mitsain, G. & Palomo, L.J.

Reviewer/s
Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
This is a common and widespread species with no major threats affecting the population.
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Status

No legal protection (2).
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Population

Population
It is a common species throughout much of its range. Populations appear generally stable (natural fluctuations occur). Densities of more than 100 individuals per hectare have been recorded in eastern Europe (Montgomery 1999).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
Globally there are no major threats. Locally, habitat degradation due to agriculture may cause population declines. In the UK, the species occupied a wider distribution in historic times and has undergone a range contraction associated with the conversion of ancient woodland to agricultural land (Battersby 2005).
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As the yellow-necked mouse is associated with ancient woodland, it is likely that it is vulnerable to habitat fragmentation. However, a high dispersal ability and good reproductive potential suggests that this mouse can colonise new areas quickly (4). The increase in conifer planting may have reduced the availability of seed producing trees (4).
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It occurs in protected areas across its range. No specific conservation measures are recommended.
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Conservation

Research and survey work is currently being carried out on this species by the University of Bristol's Mammal Research Unit (5). This work will hopefully shed light on the conservation status of this patchily distributed species (5).
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Wikipedia

Yellow-necked mouse

The yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis), also called yellow-necked field mouse, yellow-necked wood mouse, and South China field mouse,[2] is closely related to the wood mouse, with which it was long confused. It was only recognised as a separate species in 1894. It differs in its band of yellow fur around the neck and in having slightly larger ears and usually being slightly larger overall. Around 100 mm in length, it can climb trees and sometimes overwinters in houses. It is found mostly in mountainous areas of southern Europe, but extends north into parts of Scandinavia and Britain. It facilitates the spread of tick-borne encephalitis to humans and is a reservoir species for the Dobrava virus, a hantavirus that is responsible for causing haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome.

Taxonomy[edit]

Apodemus ponticus is probably a synonym of Apodemus flavicollis. The former is found in the Soviet Union with the boundary between the two being the political boundary between Russia and Western Europe. For many years direct comparison of the two species was not possible because of political tensions but it is now accepted that they are in reality the same species.[1]

Description[edit]

The yellow-necked mouse is very similar to the wood mouse but differs in having a slightly longer tail and larger ears. The adult head and body length is 3.5 to 5.25 inches (89 to 133 mm) with a tail about as long again, and the weight varies between 1 and 1.5 ounces (28 and 43 g). The upperparts are brownish-grey, - a rather more brown shade than the wood mouse. The underparts are white and there is a sharp demarcation line between the two colours. This mouse gets its common name from the ochre-coloured patch of fur between its forelegs but this is often inconspicuous. The upperside of juveniles is a rather paler shade of greyish-brown than the adults.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The yellow-necked mouse is native to Europe and western Asia.[4] Its range includes the more mountainous parts of Western Europe with the exception of northern Scandinavia, southern Spain and western France. This mouse occurs in Great Britain but not in Ireland, and it is also absent from a number of Mediterranean islands. In Asia, its range extends eastward to the Ural Mountains and it is also found in Turkey, Armenia, Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Israel. It is mostly a woodland species, often living near the forest verge, but in mountainous regions, it occupies any part of the forest. It is usually found in mature deciduous woodland is also found in scrubby areas, hedgerows, orchards and plantations. It favours areas where there are large, nut-bearing trees such as the oak and the hazel.[1] It is also found in parks and gardens and beside alder-fringed streams.[3]

Behaviour[edit]

The yellow-necked mouse is active all year round and does not hibernate. Sometimes several mice will huddle together during the winter to preserve heat.[5] It is an excellent climber and scrambles around in trees and bushes. It lives in crevices, burrows at the base of trees, holes in tree trunks, hollow logs and bird nesting boxes and sometimes enters buildings. The burrows are often extensive with many entrances and complex layouts. It makes extensive stores of food such as acorns and beechmast in storage chambers and uses other chambers for nesting, bringing in dry plant material for this purpose. There are often mounds of earth outside the entrances to the burrow. It also makes larders of food in holes in trees away from the burrow.[3][6] The shade is very dense under a beech tree in summer and it has been found that beech nuts hidden in caches by the yellow-necked mouse, and not subsequently eaten, can later germinate and help with dispersal of the parent tree.[7]

The yellow-necked mouse is nocturnal. It is active on the ground and in the tree canopy and has a home range rather smaller than half a hectare. Besides nuts, it feeds on buds, shoots, fruit, seedling plants and sometimes small invertebrates. Breeding takes place at any time between February and October with successive pregnancies occurring at short intervals. The gestation period is about twenty six days and females can remate while still feeding the previous litter. A litter of young is born in a nesting chamber lined with dry plant material and consists of two to eleven (usually five) altricial young born naked, blind and helpless. The eyes of the young open after about a fortnight and their yellow collars are visible by then as grey patches. They are weaned at about eighteen days old. If they are born early in the year, they may start breeding in the same year, but late-born young become sexually mature in the following spring.[5][6]

The yellow-necked mouse is preyed on by owls, foxes, weasels and other predators. It can leap to evade attackers and the skin of its tail is readily detachable and slides off if grasped by a predator.[5]

Research[edit]

It has been found that the yellow-necked mouse can transmit the virus causing tick-borne encephalitis while being immune to the virus itself.[8] It has also been found that the yellow-necked mouse together with the striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) are the natural reservoir for a hantavirus, the Dobrava virus, which causes a severe form of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in humans.[9][10]

Status[edit]

The yellow-necked mouse has a very wide range and is common in suitable habitat within that range. In Eastern Europe, densities of up to a hundred individuals per hectare have been recorded. The population is stable and this species faces no specific threats so the IUCN has listed it as being of "Least Concern" in its Red List of Threatened Species.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Amori, G.; Hutterer, R.; Kryštufek, B.; Yigit, N.; Mitsain, G.; Palomo, L. J. (2008). "Apodemus flavicollis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2013-10-10. 
  2. ^ Murray Wrobel: Elsevier’s Dictionary of Mammals. Elsevier 2006, ISBN 978-0-444-51877-4.
  3. ^ a b c Konig, Claus (1973). Mammals. Collins & Co. pp. 127–130. ISBN 978-0-00-212080-7. 
  4. ^ Musser, G. G.; Carleton, M. D. (2005). "Superfamily Muroidea". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 1265. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  5. ^ a b c "Yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis)". ARKive. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  6. ^ a b "Yellow-necked mouse (Apodemus flavicollis)". Species factsheet. The Mammal Society. 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  7. ^ Jensen, Thomas Secher (1985). "Seed-Seed Predator Interactions of European Beech, Fagus silvatica and Forest Rodents, Clethrionomys glareolus and Apodemus flavicollis". Oikos 44 (1): 149–156. JSTOR 3544056. 
  8. ^ Labuda,Milan; Kozuch, Oto; Zuffová, Eva; Elecková, Elena; Hails, Rosie S.; Nuttall, Patricia A. (1997). "Tick-Borne Encephalitis Virus Transmission between Ticks Cofeeding on Specific Immune Natural Rodent Hosts". Virology 235 (1): 138–143. doi:10.1006/viro.1997.8622. 
  9. ^ Plyusnin, Alexander; Vaheri, Antti (2006). "Saaremaa Hantavirus Should Not Be Confused with Its Dangerous Relative, Dobrava Virus". Journal of Clinical Microbiology 44 (4): 1608–1611. doi:10.1128/JCM.44.4.1608-1611.2006. 
  10. ^ Sibold, C.; Ulrich, R.; Labuda, M.; Lundkvist, Å.; Martens, H.; Schütt, M.; Gerke, P.; Leitmeyer, K.; Meisel, H.; Krüger, D. H. (2001). "Dobrava hantavirus causes hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in central Europe and is carried by two different Apodemus mice species". Journal of Medical Virology 63 (2): 158–167. doi:10.1002/1096-9071(20000201)63:2<158::AID-JMV1011>3.0.CO;2-#. 
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