Dormice in de­cline

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

Ur­gent ac­tion in the form of a rein­tro­duc­tion pro­gramme, guid­ance for wood­land man­agers and landown­ers, plus in­creased vol­un­teer mon­i­tor­ing is needed to save the hazel dor­mouse, one of Bri­tain’s most ap­peal­ing mam­mals, says the Peo­ple’s trust for en­dan­gered Species (Ptes), which has the tiny crea­ture as one of its big­gest pri­or­i­ties. num­bers of hazel dor­mouse—with its shy, be­guil­ing de­meanour, big watch­ful eyes and furry tail—have shrunk by a third since 2000 and by half in the past cen­tury, at­ten­dees of the Ptes’s na­tional Dor­mouse Con­fer­ence heard last week.

In 1885, Mus­cardi­nus avel­la­narius —not to be con­fused with the fat or ed­i­ble dor­mouse, in­tro­duced to eng­land in 1902—could be found in 49 coun­ties; to­day, it’s 32 (not count­ing the ar­eas into which they have been rein­tro­duced), al­most ex­clu­sively south of a line run­ning from Shrop­shire to Suf­folk. Since 1993, the Ptes has re­leased 864 dormice at 22 sites in 12 coun­ties. the rea­sons for de­creas­ing dormice are given as loss of wood­land and hedgerow habi­tat, the de­cline in cop­pic­ing and se­lec­tive felling and bad weather—dormice fur isn’t very wa­ter­proof and the an­i­mal will go into a state of tor­por and stop for­ag­ing. they will nest in bird boxes or spe­cially de­signed dor­mouse boxes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.