Hazel Dormouse

Mammal Hero



The dormouse is a small, nocturnal mammal with golden-brown fur and large black eyes. They have a furry semi-prehensile tail and their feet are extremely good at gripping (both adaptations make them excellent climbers). Dormice are true hibernators and can be in this state for 6 months or more. When active dormice spend most of their time in tree canopies (they are arboreal) and not just in deciduous woods, they have been found in pine-dominated forests and in people’s greenhouses and allotments!

Mammal Vital Statistics

  • Size and weight
    6.5-8.0cm head and body length, tail is 80% of the body length. The weight is on average 18-20g increasing upto 35g for hibernation.
  • Population Status
    Rare and vulnerable to extinction. The population has reduced in both range and numbers.
  • Threats
    Slow breeders and poor dispersers. Vulnerable to the isolation of habitat through hedge removal, lack of habitat management and fragmentation of woodlands.
  • Conservation Status
    Dormice are protected under The Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981, they are a European Protected Species and listed as a Biodiversity Action Plan species. It is illegal to disturb, handle or take a dormouse without a licence.

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