In all the counties of England and Wales where the hazel dormouse, Muscardinus avellanarius, occurs there are now large numbers of volunteers who regularly monitor the dormouse populations each summer. This scheme is known as the National Dormouse Monitoring Scheme. It is organised by Pat Morris and Paul Bright and funded by English Nature.
In a wood where dormice are known to occur, dormouse nestboxes (preferably at least 50 per site) are tied to the trees with the entrance hole facing the tree trunk, spaced in a regular grid. When the volunteers check the boxes they temporarily close the entrance hole and carefully raise the lid to see if there is anyone within. If there is they lift the box down and, inside a plastic bag, release the dormice, count, sex and weigh them to fill in standard recording forms with which they are supplied each year. The dormice are then returned to the box which is replaced on the tree and the entrance unblocked.
These checks are carried out between 15 to 25th of each month from May to October (sometimes April to November) and minimally in June and October. The data is sent in at the end of the year and entered into a database. It is from this that the preliminary analyses are extracted to illustrate the Dormouse Monitor newsletter which is circulated to all volunteers so that they can keep in touch with other monitors. This is the edition which has just been circulated, reporting the results from 1998. The data for 1999 is just starting to arrive.
Contact: Dr. Pat Morris: School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, Surrey TW20 OEX, U.K.
A Review of the Fat Dormouse (Glis glis) in Britain: History, Distribution, Population Size, Legal Status, Economic Significance, Fieldwork on Glis in Britain
The Mammal Society: Fact Sheet on Muscardinus avellanarius
The Dormouse Monitor : Newsletter of the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme
Contact: Dr. Shusaku Minato: 434 Kaminagai, Kumanogawa, Wakayama, 647-1201, Japan
Three dormouse species are included in the Red Data Book of Lithuania (1992): the fat dormouse (Glis glis) and the forest dormouse (Dryomys nitedula) are listed in the 3rd category (rare species), and the garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus) is listed in the 4th category (indeterminate species). The fourth dormice species - the common dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) - is quite common and widespread in Lithuania.
It is not clear whether the garden dormouse still lives in Lithuania. The only records of this species are from Perloja forestry (South Lithuania) (1957-1959) and the exact location remains unknown. The garden dormouse has been declining throughout the Baltic states for unknown reasons during recent decades (Airapetjanc, 1983; Pilats, 1994).
There is currently only one known population of the forest dormouse in south-west Lithuania. Lithuania and Latvia lie on the northern border of the species' distribution area, so the animal is likely to be rare here.
The majority of localities in Lithuania where the fat dormouse occurs
are in protected areas. Three zoological reserves were established specially
for the protection of this species in Lithuania.
Contact: Dr. Rimvydas Juškaitis: Institute of Ecology, Akademijos 2, LT-2600 Vilnius, Lithuania
Three species of dormice live today in Sicily: the Fat dormouse (Myoxus
glis italicus Barret-Hamilton, 1898), the Common or Hazel dormouse
(Muscardinus avellanarius pulcher Barret-Hamilton, 1898) and the
Garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus dichrurus Rafinesque, 1814).
As we told before, a second subspecies (E. q. liparensis Kahmann,
1960) is known to occurr at Lipari.
A first sketch of their distribution on a UTM grid (100 square kms) was presented (see Sarà & Casamento, 1994) at the II Conference on Dormice held in May 1993 at Fuscaldo (Italy). Since then new informations have been added, updating their maps and relative coverages.
Contact:Dr. Maurizio Sarà: Department of Animal Biology, Via Archirafi 18, I-90134 Palermo, Italy
Contact:Dr. Wojciech Karol Nowakowski: Agricultural & Pedagogic University Institute of Biology, ul. Prusa 12, 08-110 Siedlce, Poland
Contact: Dr. Botond Z. Bakó: Gödöllő University of Agricultural Sciences, Dept. of Zoology and Ecology, Pater K. u 1, Gödöllő, H-2103, Hungary
Contact: Dr. Boris Kryštufek: Slovenian Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 290, 1001 Ljubljana, Slovenia