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Declining Dormouse populations highlights importance of development ecology surveys

ecology surveys

A new report published this month by the People’s Trust for Endangered Species highlights the serious rate of decline in dormouse numbers across England and Wales, since the turn of the century.

With loss and fragmentation quoted as being one of three key factors in this decline, it is more important than ever that this European Protected Species is considered early in the development process where suitable dormouse habitats are present. Dormice are typically associated with broad-leaved woodland, hedgerows and scrub. But are also now known to utilise a vast range of other habitats including coniferous plantations, road and rail verges and coastal scrub, among others.

Autumn / early winter is the perfect time of year to carry out systematic nut searches on sites containing fruiting hazel. This will check if dormice are present. These animals leave very distinctive gnaw marks on the nuts, which our licensed and experienced ecologists are able to distinguish from marks left by other small mammals. If you don’t have fruiting hazel on your site, we can discuss setting up a nest tube survey, which can commence in April of 2017.

Arrange a survey

To discuss the potential for finding dormice on your development project, or potential ecology surveys please get in touch. Contact Richard Parmee, Head of Natural Environment on 01638 663226 (Newmarket office) or richard@agbenvironmental.co.uk.

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