Snoring Somerset dormouse stuns National Trust rangers

  • Listen to rare footage of a snoring Somerset dormouse

The National Trust has released rare footage of a snoring dormouse in Somerset.

The little mouse was found sound asleep, snoring away, in an empty nest box. The snore can be heard as a high-pitched whistle.

The ranger who found the dormouse said in his ten years of working with the animals, he has only heard them snore twice.

Rob Manicom explained: "I've been monitoring them for ten years now, and I think it's only about the second time I've heard it, so I'd say it's not that common.

"I think he was just sleeping in a little bit longer, waiting for those cold nights to pass."

He added these moments are "absolutely special" and are "exactly the reason why we do the job."

It's sound is quite a strange very high-pitched whistle which can be heard even a few feet away from the box.

Rob Manicom, National Trust ranger

In April, National Trust teams started checking nesting boxes in woodlands in Holnicote. There are more than 230 nest boxes monitored across the estate.

The boxes are used by a range of species including Pied Flycatchers, blue tits, great tits, dormice and woodmice.

Dormice are mainly nocturnal and the National Trust said recent April nights have been very chilly for them, with several frosts. 

They use a lot of energy reserves to emerge from torpor - a state of decreased physiological activity in animals - and then have to keep warm and hunt for food.

Rob said: "Even though it was quite warm in the daytime, I suspect they were still sleeping out the last of the cold weather."


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