A colony of a species of dormouse which is going through extinction has been discovered breeding in Hove, conservationists say.
The colony of hazel dormice has been present in dense woodland within the Benfield Hill nature reserve.
Volunteers examine nesting containers within the woods each month with any dormice discovered being weighed earlier than being put again.
Local weather change and habitat loss have been cited as the principle causes for his or her decline.
Specialists say the inhabitants of hazel dormice has halved since 2000 and it’s now a protected species.
Sally Wadsworth, chair of the Benfield Wildlife and Conservation Group, mentioned: “We have got some dense woodland and we have additionally acquired a variety of totally different forms of bushes – brambles and hawthorns – and we have planted new timber to enhance the biodiversity on the positioning.
“All alongside the Brighton bypass there are colonies of dormice.”
Hazel Ryan, from the Wildwood Belief in Kent, says the dormice inhabitants has been hit by a lack of hedgerows and woodland, in addition to local weather change.
She mentioned their habitats had been fragmented by the constructing of roads and housing developments.
“They depend on good heat, dry summers after they can go foraging for meals, and good chilly winters after they can hibernate. We’re starting to get hotter winters and wetter, windier summers.”
Peter Hubbard, a volunteer at Benfield Hill, mentioned: “We checked the containers from April onwards, and we discovered some pregnant females with some littles ones. We simply hope they’ll survive.”
Monitoring will proceed on the reserve and throughout different breeding websites throughout the South East till the dormice go into hibernation.