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Hedgerow management, dormice and biodiversity

English Nature Research Report 454

Abstract

Hedgerows are of key importance for conservation in agricultural landscapes, but changes in their management in the last few decades are likely to have had a profound negative impact on biodiversity. Dormice used to occur frequently in hedgerows and are indicators of diversity. Understanding their needs in hedgerows is a priority action in the UK dormouse Species Action Plan. We re-surveyed 59 hedgerow sites where dormice were present in the late 1970s and found that they are no longer present at 64% of sites. This equates to a 70% decrease over 25 years – a red alert decline. Extinction was strongly inversely correlated with hedgerow width; intensively managed sites no longer supported dormice.

Author(s): Bright, P, MacPherson , D

Journal: English Nature Research Report 454

Year: 2002

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