Ranging and nesting behaviour of the dormouse Muscardinus avellanarius, in coppice-with-standards woodland



Radiotracking was used to investigate the movements of dormice at different times during the summer, in an area of coppice-with-standards woodland, a habitat traditionally associated with this species. The dormice were shown to be wholly arboreal in their activity, foraging in different strata of their three-dimensional habitat, as different food sources became seasonally available. Nest sites were located and both sexes were found to travel only short distances from them, implying that this species probably has a low potential for dispersal. Males normally travelled further than females each night and had larger home ranges, within which activity was usually concentrated in small areas associated with a particular food resource. The findings are discussed in relation to woodland management and distribution surveys.