The Hazel / Common Dormouse is an endangered species whose numbers have sadly declined as a result of changes in woodland management, loss of hedgerows and certain farming practices, to name just a few. You can find them mainly in the woodland and hedgerows of southern England and Wales. Although they have declined by nearly half since 2000, their story is not over. We can all play our part in helping to preserve this important species
So how can you help? There are many conservation projects up and down the UK focused on improving the woodlands, maintaining populations where Dormice still exist and enhancing them where possible. As well as this make sure you notifying the National Dormouse Database if you see a dormouse, join a local woodland conservation group such as ones arranged by Wildlife Trust.
One of the best ways you can help with the research into Dormice is with a dormouse footprint survey. Detection rates for this style of surveying are often far quicker than with nest tubes, and the detection/ identification of footprints can be done with minimal experience. Footprint tunnels are also non-invasive meaning there is minimal distribution to the dormouse and its habitat.
The People's Trust for Endangered Species is a nonprofit organisation that promotes the conservation of rare or declining species and habitats throughout the world. The tunnel is made from a square plastic tube with a plywood insert. The paper and ink pad are placed onto the insert so that the animal will leave its footprints on the paper when it walks over the ink pad. dormouse footprints are distinct enough that they can easily be distinguished from those of wood mice and other small arboreal mammals. The tunnels come with all the necessary accessories in a convenient pack of 50, to help assist you with your dormouse surveying. Take a look at the kit here.
Our dormouse footprint tracking kit contains
- 50 tunnels
- 50 inserts
- 300 strips of paper
- pharmaceutical grade charcoal powder
- mixing jar
- masking tape
- double-sided tape
- 500ml olive oil
- cable ties
If you want to find out more about dormouse surveying, specific conservation or just more information regarding these endearing little creatures, there is a plethora of great information on the Peoples Trust For Endangered Species and the Woodland Trust websites