Coppett Hill
Coppett Hill

Natural History: Fauna: Dormice

Photo Wendy Marshell

THE DORMOUSE - MUSCARDINUS AVELLANARIOUS

Back in 2006, The Trust placed, with the help and advice of a Countryside Ranger from  Queenswood Country Park , a mixture of 30 wooden nesting boxes and tubes.  These were monitored by him in the first year between the months March and November with two volunteers.

In 2007 these two volunteers attended a Mammal Society course “Dormouse Ecology and Conservation” and were then able to obtain their Licences to handle this protected small mammal.  To comply with a condition of the renewal of the Licence,  an annual report must be submitted to Natural England of the results of the monthly survey between March and November of at least 50 boxes and tubes.   With the kind help of sponsors the Trust was able to increase these to 50 on Coppett Hill.

This monitoring continues to the present day. Once a month between March and November the Licence Holders inspect these 50 boxes, weigh and sex any occupants and then input their findings on line to Natural England.  The Dormouse is considered to be active during these months, hopefully breeding in the boxes and using the tree canopy to travel about and find food.     The rest of the year is spent hibernating in woven nests on the ground.

These are the recordings over the past four years.  2012 was clearly affected by the very bad summer, but we hope for better results in 2013.

(The public are reminded that dormice are a protected species and it is illegal to tamper with dormouse boxes or handle dormice, unless you have attended the appropriate training courses and have the agreement of the landowner.)

Date

No. of dormice

No. of empty nests

Boxes checked

21/04/2009

0

0

50

24/05/2009

1

0

50

22/06/2009

1

0

50

24/07/2009

2

0

50

27/08/2009

1

2

50

06/10/2009

4

4

50

09/11/2009

0

4

50

21/04/2010

0

0

50

24/05/2010

3

0

50

22/06/2010

3

0

50

20/07/2010

4

1

50

25/08/2010

5

1

50

27/09/2010

1

1

50

09/11/2010

2

3

50

04/04/2011

0

0

50

02/05/2011

4

0

50

13/06/2011

7

1

50

18/07/2011

6

2

50

22/08/2011

3

5

50

26/09/2011

9

7

50

14/11/2011

4

8

50

02/04/2012

0

0

50

24/04/2012

0

0

50

28/05/2012

1

0

50

02/07/2012

0

0

50

09/08/2012

1

0

50

01/10/2012

0

2

50

 

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