A recent report by the People's Trust for Endangered Species has highlighted the threats facing our native dormouse population. National standardised monitoring has shown that numbers of these endearing and charismatic species have halved in under 20 years, bringing the species under threat of extinction.
Dormice are long lived animals for their size, and as such are slow to recover from population declines. The recent fall in numbers is thought to be due to a variety of factors including climate change; changes in woodland management and farming practices; and habitat destruction. Dormice are predominantly found in southern parts of England and Wales and are relatively widespread in Essex, but are in danger from habitat fragmentation and development in the county. Dormice are protected by law, and anyone disturbing or destroying habitat known to be occupied by dormice could be subject to prosecution.
Further information about the report can be found on the PTES website here.