Britain's smallest mammal found in Maidstone park
A pygmy shrew, similar to
the one found in Maidstone's Mote Park
One of the smallest mammals on earth has been discovered leading
the quiet life in Mote Park.
You could be forgiven for not having spotted the furry but tiny
pygmy shrew while out walking your dog.
The little creature was revealed during a mammal survey
organised by Maidstone council.
So delicate were the animals they were hoping to find that they
had to undergo handling training with the Kent Mammal Group.
As many as 50 traps were set and regularly checked.
The smallest catch was the lone pygmy shrew, which likes to live
in undergrowth or among leaves.
Volunteers were not able to handle the animal, which is an
unusual find for Mote Park.
But they transferred it from the trap to a bag to weigh and
measure it and take an educated guess that she was female.
The group also collected 19 wood mice; three yellow necked mice;
15 bank voles and two field voles and one common shrew.
Pygmy shrews, the smallest mammals in Britain, have an average
weight of four grams and have such a high metabolism they need to
eat every two hours.
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