The Dormouse Footprint Tunnel is a tool for detecting dormouse presence that has the advantage of not disturbing nesting dormice. It has been suggested by Suffolk Wildlife Trust and CIEEM to be a more effective survey tool within scrub and hedgerow habitats than dormouse tubes, and when in high canopy woodland footprint tunnels performed at least as well as traditional techniques.
The Dormouse Footprint Tunnel is made of a 39cm x 6cm x 6cm plastic down pipe, making it robust to outdoor conditions and potentially damaging wildlife such as squirrels. The footprint tube also has a 48cm wooden insert, resulting in an overhang at either end of the tunnel acting as a landing platform for dormice.
The ink is made by mixing charcoal with oil and placing it on tape at either end of the tube. Each bottle (not included) has around 12 tsp of charcoal ink and it only takes around 3 tsp to do 50 traps. Card or thick paper is laid along the length of the wooden insert to record the footprints, and they can then be easily removed and replaced for repeated surveys. The tunnels should be fastened to the underside of horizontal branches unless they can be securely fastened above. This can be done with cable ties, but better with Hook and Loop strapping to reduce waste. Please note that fastenings are not included.
Dormouse Footprint Tunnel Instructions
Read the NHBS Guide to Dormouse Survey on our blog, the Hoopoe.
Plastic Tube: 390 x 60 x 60mm
Wooden insert: 480 x 60