Brant’s Climbing Mouse (Dendromus mesomelas)

08 Apr 2015 Posted by in Environment | 12 comments

This little guy below is Brant’s Climbing Mouse, one of several species of climbing mouse found in Southern Africa. As their suggests, they live in trees, restios and bushes, and are seldom seen.

This particular specimen we found in a weavers nest at Zandvlei Nature Reserve. To demonstrate how cryptic this species is, consider Zandvlei has been a protected area for almost 30 years and this species has only just been found for the first time.

They are meant to be relatively common, but are not recorded as they do not go down on to the ground and enter small mammal traps. They are known to use old bird nests once they are abandoned, but very little is known about their biology.

There are historical records for the species at Rondevlei, but they have not been found for many years.

Brandt's Climbing Mouse (1)Brandt's Climbing Mouse (2)Brandt's Climbing Mouse

  1. Gavin Lawson04-08-15

    What a wonderful find. As Dalton says we need to stay tuned in and aware out there. There are possibly more creatures under our noses which we don’t see.

  2. bev ing04-08-15

    so cute . hope they make a come back and people leave them alone.

  3. MoonDance04-08-15

    tasty when skewered, as a bar snack 🙂

  4. Don A04-08-15

    how wonderful Dalton – the cutest little thing and thanks for telling as about it!

  5. Don A04-08-15

    How wonderful Dalton ! thanks for telling us about it

  6. Len Davies04-08-15

    So nice to know that not all is lost – Congrats to Dalton & his dedicated team!

  7. Charlene04-08-15

    Always happy when the animals thrive.

  8. Ann Fitzpatrick08-04-15

    While out walking a few weeks ago my husband and I saw this little fellow but were unable to identify him until we saw a copy of the Autumn 2015 Our Zandvlei Newsletter. Unfortunately we did not have our camera with us but I doubt that we would have been able to capture a photo as he scuttled across the path in front of us. A very exciting find for us and even nicer to have been able to identify him.

  9. Dalton Gibbs08-05-15

    Hi Ann

    If you are certain of the sighting it would be helpful to inform the nature reserve about it. If you saw it at Zandvlei then please let the reserve know at 021 701 7542.
    These are very difficult animals to see and I have only ever seen them when they have been flushed out of bushes due to a fire.

  10. Ann Fitzpatrick08-13-15

    Hi Dalton,

    Yes we are both certain that we saw the mouse photographed in the news letter. It was while walking on the vlie side of Park Island in the afternoon. We will let the reserve know.



  11. Gill Van Wyk09-13-15

    I am doing some research on the relationship between Brant’s climbing mouse and Restio’s couls anyone tell me if they assist in the fertilisation of these plants. It would be a great help.

  12. Dalton Gibbs09-14-15

    Hi Gill
    We know very little about this species – I am presently doing captivity feeding trials to see what they eat as this is also very thin information in the literature.
    I am not aware of them being involved in restio pollination, but would not be too surprised to find this out.

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