Wood mouse on woodland floor

Wood mouse

With approximately one wood mouse for every two people in the UK, they are one of its most common small mammals. However, they have many predators, including foxes, cats, owls and birds of prey and average life expectancy is just 12 months. To avoid becoming a meal, wood mice make spectacular leaps, have good night vision, and even shed the end of their tail if caught.

Mainly active at night, wood mice are agile climbers, jumpers and swimmers. During the winter, they often share sheltered nests, with up to four individuals per nest. Male home ranges overlap with those of other wood mice, but during the breeding season the females become territorial and defend exclusive ranges.

Scientific name: Apodemus sylvaticus

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Field mouse,
  • Long-tailed field mouse

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The Wood mouse can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Europe, Himalayas, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Wood mouse distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Stable

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

BBC News about Wood mouse