Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Saturday, 21 November 2009

Nut hunt locates dormice habitats

Dormouse asleep
Dormice habitats can be identified by discarded hazel nut shells

People in Wiltshire have been helping the county's wildlife trust locate populations of hazel dormice.

A Great Nut Hunt was held at Morgan's Vale and Woodfalls Hall where people were taught how to spot hazel nut shells discarded by the mice.

"We are especially keen on records from Wiltshire where we currently have very few," said the Trust's Diane Nicolle.

"The dormouse is sensitive to changes in habitat so it is a helpful indicator for the diversity of other animals."

The hazel dormouse is the only dormouse species native to the UK and has suffered dramatic declines during the past 100 years due to habitat loss, fragmentation and deterioration.

This has led to its current protected status and inclusion in the National and Wiltshire Biodiversity Action Plans (BAP).

"Hazel dormice eat hazel nuts in a very specific way, so by walking in a wooded or scrubby area and using tested techniques to look carefully at any hazel nuts scattered on the floor, it is possible to tell whether a nut was eaten by a hazel dormouse or by another species of rodent," said Ms Nicolle.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Dormice cross roads to make homes
28 Jul 09 |  Cornwall

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific