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Up in the Trees - Arboreal Dormouse Monitoring

Up in the Trees - Arboreal Dormouse Monitoring

Bartlett, Debbie ORCID: 0000-0002-5125-6466 and Bower, Sam (2017) Up in the Trees - Arboreal Dormouse Monitoring. In: AA (Arboricultural Association) International Conference, 10-13th September 2017, University of Exeter. (Unpublished)

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The common dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius L) is a small arboreal mammal native to Britain. It is often regarded as a ‘bio-indicator’ species due to its varied resource requirements, traditionally understood to be structurally and florally diverse broadleaf woodland. Dormice receive full protection under British and European law making it an offense to kill, capture or disturb dormice or to disturb or destroy a site in which they rest. The accurate identification of dormouse presence on a site has ecological and legal significance.

The most common technique for identifying presence and population monitoring is through the use of artificial nests. These tend to be placed at 1.5 – 2m above the ground to allow ease of access for researchers; This is convenient for the surveyors but, as it is generally thought dormice avoid coming down to the ground and are most active in the canopy, does this really give accurate results?

This project investigated height selection in nest box use by dormice and trials a method for identifying a correlation between habitat features and box occupancy. Pairs and trios of nesting boxes were placed at 1.5m and at varied heights >3m on a variety of trees in a woodland with a proven dormouse population. Canopy access was achieved using Double Rope Technique (DRT). The nest boxes were surveyed once a month for three months to check for signs of use. Nest box locations was recorded using a Leica Geosystems® Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and was layered with survey data in a GIS using Google Earth® for analysis. A detailed vegetation and canopy structure assessment was made of a 10m radial circle around a sample of the nest boxes and nest construction and composition analysed.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: dormouse; arboreal monitoring survey
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Biology & Biotechnology Research Group
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Science (SCI)
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Last Modified: 03 Jul 2019 14:20

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