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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