Friday 10 December 2010

Biological Records Database

We have now finally achieved a very major update to our Biological Records database which as a result contains some 130,000 records.  Some species, particularly rarer birds, are very well documented, but there are very large gaps in our knowledge about other species, particularly 'common' ones. 

Symptomatic of this is the Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvatics) which, according to our database, has only ever been recorded once on the island, down near Kilnaughton Bay.  According to our records, no other mouse, of any species, has ever been found on Islay.

We rather suspect that this information may not be correct, and our suspicions have been further aroused by the picture sent to us by Vanessa and James which clearly shows their neighbour's cat chasing a worried looking mouse.  This was taken in Bowmore, so it appears the population may have a wider distribution than we thought.  The question is, is the mouse in the picture a Wood Mouse, or is it either a House mouse (Mus musculus) or a Yellow-necked Field mouse (Apodemus flavicollis)? 

Any further information about the distribution of mice would be gratefully received.  If you were to make a historical breakthrough and positively identify a mouse on Islay, then please use the Species Record Form that can be downloaded from the link at the top of this blog.

Many thanks

1 comment:

  1. If it was a Yellow-necked Mouse it wouldn't just be a first for Islay but it would be a first record for Scotland!!

    It's also perhaps pertinent to mention that the checklist of Islay memmals which is available on the Trust's website describes both House and Wood Mice as being "widespread" based mainly on an atlas of mammal records which was published some years ago, plus a fair number of records, particularly of Wood Mouse, much the commoner of the two, from across the island. I also confess to having records of Wood and House Mouse for my house and garden which have never been added to the database.
    I will investigate why these records have not made it to the database and update it accordingly.