With experienced licensed dormouse ecologists Sarah Hobbs and Georgina Starkie we continue to monitor dormice populations in the Forest of Selwood and have applied for funding to expand the current monitoring work.
National monitoring shows the population of hazel dormice has declined by 50% since 2000, with the species hanging on mostly in southern parts of England and Wales. Climate change, as well as changes in woodland management, farming practices and loss of hedgerows, have all taken a heavy toll on their living space. Dormice are good indicators of animal and plant diversity, and dormouse-friendly mixed habitats of wild flowers, shrubs and trees, are also good for birds, bats and butterflies, which is why we’re working hard to reverse the decline and promote the recovery of Dormice in British woodlands.
Although we’ve had a number of wood mice and a couple of their larger, fiercer cousins, yellow necked mice, over the past few years, the dormice were still eluding us….that is until last year. As we approached the first box of the survey, we were astonished to see two baby dormice sitting on the top of the lid of the box! We opened it up and all chaos ensued, dormice were running everywhere! In total we counted eight juveniles and one adult female. They were all in great condition, although the young had a bit of fattening up to do before hibernation began.
We are working to safeguard the Forest's plants and animals from increasing habitat loss, species decline or even extinction. Our work is supported by donations from individuals and charitable foundations.
Forest of Selwood is a registered charity committed to reviving nature in this deeply historic landscape.