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Š Pat Morris

Planning for dormice: a landscape scale approach Simone Bullion

Key aspects of hazel dormouse ecology • • • • • • • • •

Native small mammal Nocturnal, highly arboreal but hibernates on ground High quality diet Live at low densities (2 animals per ha) Low annual recruitment Relatively long-lived Poor coloniser so vulnerable to habitat fragmentation Can persist undetected and can be hard to survey Flagship species © Pat Morris

Surveying dormice

Field signs – limited by habitat and time

Nest boxes and tubes – less reliable where there is a poorly developed shrub layer All photos © Alison Looser

Footprint tunnels - looking promising but high effort

Status of hazel dormice in UK © Alison Looser

European Protected Species UK Priority Species IUCN ‘least concern’ but monitored populations declined by 72% in last 22 years (Goodwin et al. 2017) Now considered ‘vulnerable’ (if not ‘endangered’) in UK

Known distribution

Š Alison Looser

Š The Mammal Society

Dormouse Habitat

Ancient woodland and ancient species rich hedgerows Coniferised ancient woodlands (PAWs) Recent and early successional habitats: plantation woodland, scrub, younger hedgerows All photos Š Alison Looser

Corsican pine plantation

Leylandii shelter belt

Thorny low growing scrub

Disused allotments

All photos Š Simone Bullion

Scruffy places!

Myths why dormice may be scoped out

• • • • •

No records No hazel on site No woodland in landscape Gaps in the hedgerows connecting to site Habitat not suitable (without qualifying explanation) © Alison Looser

Habitat availability: Parish of Bentley, Babergh DC, Suffolk


Dormice can exist in hedgerow network in absence of woodland

Š Simone Bullion

Connectivity in the landscape

All Photos Š Alison Looser

Sites with poor structure and diversity can still support dormice if part of the ‘woody’ ecological network.

© Simone Bullion

Ancient woodland

Parish boundary Mothballed quarry

Key messages for planning and dormice • Lack of records doesn’t mean lack of dormice • Negative survey is ‘likely absence’ • Assess beyond the site: look at the landscape spatially and temporally • Where present, take a strategic areabased approach where a development is likely to be phased

Any questions?

© Alison Looser

Landscape approach to dormice final  
Landscape approach to dormice final