Rodents are the most diverse order of mammals on earth and can be found on every continent. There are 17 species of rodent found in Britain, ranging from the tiny harvest mouse to the bulky beaver. Other than mice and rats, there are 6 species of vole (the bank, Skomer,
water, field, Guernsey and Orkney vole), 2 species of squirrel (the red and grey squirrel) and a single species of beaver (the Eurasian beaver).
Only 2 species of rat live within Britain (the brown rat and the black rat). By comparison, there are 4 species of mice (the wood mouse, yellow-necked mouse, house mouse and harvest mouse) and 2 species of dormouse (the hazel dormouse and fat dormouse). Although naturally nocturnal, those species living in proximity to humans are known to appear regularly during the day.
Rodents are prolific breeders and the species identified in this guide can produce anywhere from 15-128 young a year; brown rats and house mice in particular will breed throughout the year, whilst yellow-necked and wood mice generally breed between March and October
(longer if they have a good food supply).
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