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Ecology of the hazel dormouse
Ecology of the hazel dormouse

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Slide1

Ecology of the hazel dormouseSlide2

Ecology of the Hazel dormouse

Britains

small MammalsFamily Muridae and Family GliridaeEuropean SpeciesWhat’s in a nameFat dormouseThe dormouse yearTorpor and hibernationDormouse dietNests and breeding

Age classes

Home range and population density

Predation

Dormouse activity

Distribution

Dormouse habitatsSlide3

Cheeky

Chappie

Makes An Appearance In A Fenland Garden Helping Himself To Food!

November 2009

Wood mouse

Yellow neck mouse

Harvest mouse

House mouse

Field vole

Bank vole

Pygmy shrew

Common shrew

Water shrew

Hazel dormouseSlide4

Family

Muridae

Over 700 species including mice, rats and gerbils

Scaled tails

Hop, climb or run

Either herbivores or omnivores

Breed frequently

Large litters

Short-lived

Furred tails

Generally arboreal

Nocturnal

Omnivores; lack a caecum Breed once or twice a year Average litter of 4 Long lived Hibernate

Family Gliridae28 species of dormice

Order: Rodentia

Class: MammaliaSlide5

European Species

Hazel dormouse –

Muscardinus avellanariusEuropean status: Least concern, Pop. trend: unknownFat dormouse – Glis glisEuropean status: Least concern, Pop. trend: unknownGarden dormouse – Eliomys

quercinus

European status: Near threatened, Pop. trend: decreasing

Forest dormouse - Dryomys nitedulaEuropean status: Least concern, Pop. trend: stableMouse tailed dormouse - Myomimus roachiEuropean status: Endangered, Pop. trend: decreasing

www.iucnredlist.org

(2011)Slide6

What’s in a name?

Common or Hazel dormouse

Muscardinus avellanarius Mus – small brown animal Scardinus – young edible dormouse avellanarius – from hazel Dormir – from

french

‘to sleep’

Fat or Edible dormouse Glis glis Glisere – latin ‘to grow’Slide7

Fat dormouse

Non native

Released 1902Size of small squirrelLife cycle linked to beech ‘Seven sleeper’Slide8

Hazel dormouse

Native species

Adult size: 50mm body,

wt

18-30+ g

Furry tail

Sandy coat developsLarge black eyes

Pads on feetDouble-jointed hind anklesSlide9

May

Apr

Mar

Feb

Jan

Dec

Nov

Oct

Sept

Aug

July

June

Hibernating

Hibernating?

Occasional arousals

Frequent arousals

Fully active

Short periods of activity

Breeding

Young born

Young foraging

Second brood?

Fattening up for winter

The

hazel

dormouse yearSlide10

Hibernating

Hibernating?

Occasional arousals

Frequent arousals

Fully active

Short periods of activity

Breeding

Young born

Young foraging

Second brood?

Fattening up for winter

The

hazel

dormouse yearSlide11

2010 Dormouse weight distribution by month, adjusted by number of NDMP sites, where dormice were recorded. Slide12

Torpor and hibernation

Latin –

hiberna for winterHibernation – longer than 24hrsTorpor – less than 24hrsHibernate due to lack of food in winterTorpor due to inclement weatherSlide13

Hibernation

Minimum weight 15-18g

November – AprilHibernate in nests on ground; moist, even temperatureCoppice stools, log piles, leaf litterMay wake/moveSlide14

Torpor

Occurs in active period

In nest boxes – with and without nestsOnce disturbed will wake20mins to full activitySlide15

Hazel dormouse diet

Sequential feeders

Lack caecum Nectar, pollen, seeds, fruit, nuts, invertebratesFood diversity needs to be within home rangeSlide16

Dormouse food requirementsSlide17

Nests and breeding

Range of distinctive nests

Breeding nest woven covered with green leavesHoneysuckle strips and other local materialUsually more than one nestSlide18

Dormouse breeding

Males solitary

First litters late May4-6 young with distinctive stagesOccasional crèchesMay have second litterPopulation ‘boom’ in Sept/OctSlide19

The ages of Hazel dormice

Stage

Approx. ageApprox.weight

Coat colour

Pinks

0 – 6 days1 – 2.5gPinkGrey eyes closed6 – 16 days2.5 – 6g

GreyEyes open16 – 28 days

6 – 10gGrey or brownJuvenile (before first hibernation)28+ days plus10g plusGrey/sandyAdult (after first hibernation)8-12 months plus12g plusSandySlide20

Dormouse home range

Adult male home range about

0.75 ha Adult female range smallerDistance travelled a from nestMale 70m (Bright and Morris 1994)Female 50m (Bright and Morris 1991)Dispersing juvenile 376m (Wilder Wych 2011)Slide21

Dormouse population density

Species

HabitatMean Spring densityDormouseOptimal – diverse wood with abundant, vigorous understory4 to 6 adults

Dormouse

Oak woodland with hazel

2 adultsDormouseScrubunknownDormouseConifer woodland1 to 3 adultsDormouse

Hedgerow1.3 adultsWood mouseDeciduous woodland

40 plusBank voleDeciduous woodland100 plusSlide22

Dormouse predators

Badger

Wild boarCats

Owls

Grey squirrel

Stoats, weasels

Between 40 – 70% of dormice

die in hibernation

(

Juskaitis

1977)Slide23

Dormouse activity

Adapted for arboreal lifestyle

Use aerial pathways in tree/shrub canopyHazel – lax growthBramble – scrub banksReluctant to cross open ground (Bright and Morris 1992)But non-corridor habitat not complete barrier to movement (Bright 1988, Buchner 1997, 2008)Slide24

Hazel dormouse distribution (records from

1990-2013Slide25

Dormouse habitats

Deciduous woodland with vigorous understory

managed woodlandmanaged coppice woodlandOak wood with hazelderelict coppiceScrub (connected?)Conifer woodHedgerow

Dormice may be present in any wood or scrub habitat within their rangeSlide26
Slide27

Dormouse Ecology Summary

Hibernate in nests at ground level

Arboreal when activeExhibit torpor in inclement weatherSequential specialist feedersLive at low densitiesSmall home rangeLow fecundityLong lived Slide28

Why are dormice good?

Key species

Plant diversityShrub structureWoodlandsHedgerows

Scrub

Responsibility

What’s good for dormice is good for many other speciesSlide29

People’s Trust for Endangered Species,

3 Cloisters House, 8 Battersea Park Road, London SW8 4BG

Registered charity no 274206

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Ecology of the hazel dormouse - Description


Ecology of the Hazel dormouse Britains small Mammals Family Muridae and Family Gliridae European Species Whats in a name Fat dormouse The dormouse year Torpor and hibernation Dormouse diet ID: 270432 Download Presentation

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hazel dormouse species range dormouse hazel range species dormice young wood breeding trend pop activity mouse status woodland hibernation

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