Dormice recovery programme
Hazel dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius) have disappeared from half of their former range in the UK in the last 100 years due to habitat destruction and fragmentation.
Natural England has produced a Species Action Plan that describes the problems facing the dormouse and actions for its conservation. Paignton Zoo became involved with this project in 2000 and works with a range of institutions involved with breeding dormice. Each year dormice are bred at Paignton Zoo for release at sites carefully selected by staff from the Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES). These sites are regularly checked as part of the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme, and this monitoring has shown that dormice have successfully bred at release sites.