Yellow-necked mouse - Apodemus flavicollis
The yellow-necked mouse is very similar to the wood mouse but has a distinctive yellow band of fur across its neck and bib and it is slightly bigger at 9-12 cm. Similar to the wood mouse its fur is brown, with a lighter, almost white, underside.
Their range is quite specific in the UK, being found mostly in the south of England and in Wales.
The yellow-necked mouse is an adept climber and its preferred habitat is established woodland areas. Their diet consists mostly of seeds, particularly tree seeds and their climbing skills mean they are able to reach a wider variety than their counterparts.
Their burrows can be found underground, in root systems but also in tree holes and as with other mice species they can make their way into our homes for shelter, especially in the colder months.
The yellow-necked mouse does not hibernate but is active year-round making large stores of food for leaner times both in the nest and further afield.
Their life expectancy is around 12 to 24 months, but it is extremely rare for them to survive two winters. They reproduce from March to October, but more so in the summer months, producing between 3 to 10 young – most commonly five – per litter. A single female can have as many as three litters in their lifetime.
An interesting fact about the yellow-necked mouse is its ability to avoid predators by impressive leaps to a safer place or, if they are caught by their tail, they are able to shed the outer layer of skin to make their getaway!