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Common Dormouse


Common dormice can be distinguished from other mouse-sized mammals by their thick, bushy tail. They have orange/brown fur on their upper-parts, yellow/white under-parts, and a white throat.

Habitat and Distribution

They inhabit deciduous woodland with scrub, coppiced woodlands and hedgerows. In Britain, they are mainly found in the southern counties, although they are present in a few scattered locations in the Lake District and mid-Wales.


Dormice spend the day sleeping in nests made from honeysuckle bark, grass, moss and leaves, which are typically about 15cm in diameter and woven to entirely surround the animal.


Common dormice rear one or two litters a year, typically of four young (although the litter size can range from 1-7). The young first leave the nest after four weeks, but they may remain with their mother for a further seven weeks.

Feeding Habits

Common dormice feed on seeds, flowers, fruits and insects. Nuts, including chestnuts, acorns and hazelnuts, are important food sources prior to hibernation. Dormice are nocturnal and hibernate from October to April. They are good climbers, and spend most of their time in the tree canopy.


Habitat loss is the main problem for the common dormouse.
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Updated: 28/03/2018