Aug 09 2019

Dormice Footprint Detectives

Our new volunteer wardens at Avoncliff Wood are trialing dormouse footprint tunnels at our recent acquisition in the west country. As part of a full monitoring study of the plants and animals at Avoncliff Wood, the volunteers have installed 30 dormice tunnels lined with white card, with charcoal oil-paint at each end, to see if dormice walk through the tunnels leaving little footprints behind.

Set up and preperation of Dormouse Survey kit; tubes, boards, blacking pads                                                                            

Dormouse survey Avoncliff Woods

No dormice are harmed during the process, but there may be a population of black-footed dormice wandering the trees and hazel coppice around Bath! And fingers crossed they will be leaving their footprints for us to find.

Set up and preperation of Dormouse Survey kit; tubes, boards, paper numbering

It’s a new method of dormice detection designed to check for presence or absence of a dormice population, with minimal disturbance. Dormice are a European Protected Species and populations are in serious decline.
We have put out 30 boxes around the wood, and mapped the locations with eight figure grid references, and will return every few weeks to see what dormice, wood mice, voles and other birds and animals leave their footprints on the card. We are revising our small mammal footprint ecology sheets in practice!
Words: Joe Middleton
Pictures: People’s Trust for Endangered Species and Joe Middleton
1 Comment
  • CathyHarvey

    Very interested in this as I volunteer with the group on Allington Hill. I am part way through training to get my Dormouse handling licence and when I am fully qualified would like to set a registered Dormouse survey in the wood. I would be interested to know who within the Woodland Trust I would need to get in contact with to gain permission? Good to know you are around Joe, we miss your enthusiasm if you could get in contact re this I would be very grateful. Thanks Cathy

    November 3, 2019 at 4:55 pm

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