The word dormouse comes from the French word 'dormir' - to sleep. The dormouse is one of the most attractive of Britain's small mammals.

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Overview

DormouseOrder: Rodentia

Family: Gliridae

Species: Muscardinus avellanarius (Hazel Dormouse)

IUCN Red List: UK: Vulnerable, Global: Least Concern. 

Distribution: found mainly in southern counties from Cornwall to Kent northwards to Herefordshire and into Wales. They are occasionally recorded in the north but not found in Scotland.

Habitat: deciduous woodland with plenty of scrub and undergrowth resulting from coppicing (cutting trees and woody shrubs to ground level periodically to provide wood for various purposes).

Description: chubby build; bright golden-brown colour with creamy-white underparts. Large, prominent, shiny, black eyes and small, rounded ears. Fluffy tail.

Size:  head and body about 70mm (2in); tail of similar length. Adult weighs about 17g (weight of two £1 coins) and up to 40g at the start of hibernation.

Life-span: up to 5 years in the wild; 6 years in captivity.

Food: flowers, pollen, fruit, nuts and insects. Hazel, honeysuckle, bramble and oak are particularly important as food sources.

 

Read More: Introduction

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