English hazel dormice news

This video from Britain is called Wildwood’s Dormice Breeding Programme.

From Wildlife Extra:

Release carried out of 42 hazel dormice in Nottinghamshire woods

Twenty one breeding pairs of endangered hazel dormice were this week released into the wild at an undisclosed woodland location in Nottinghamshire.

The People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) has released the captive-bred animals as part of a national programme to help this endangered animal survive.

The dormice are released on-site in breeding pairs in their own secure wooden nest box fitted inside a mesh cage secured to woodland trees. This helps them adjust to their new home in the wild.

Once the initial relocation has taken place, the dormice are checked and fed daily in these cages over a two-week period to help acclimatise them to their new environment.

A small door in each cage is then opened so that the dormice are free to explore their new home whilst having the security of the mesh cage and food if needed. These are eventually removed once the animals have settled into the wood.

Despite their once widespread existence throughout much of England and Wales, the range and population of the dormouse has diminished significantly over the past 100 years, and the species is now rare and vulnerable to extinction.

However, analysis from the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme, the world’s largest and longest-running small mammal monitoring project which is managed by PTES and co-funded by Natural England, suggests that although dormice continue to decline, the rate of decline may be slowing.

This does not mean that dormice are ‘out of the woods’ yet, though, and such reintroductions play an important role in UK dormouse conservation.

This latest release site has been clustered closely with last year’s location.

Habitat such as woodland and hedgerows will be improved between the two sites so that as the two separate populations establish themselves in their respective woodlands, they will later have the opportunity to disperse and eventually join up. This will enhance the chance of long term viability for dormice in Nottinghamshire.

Ian White, Dormouse Officer at PTES, explains why dormouse reintroductions are part of the charity’s long-term conservation strategy for the species: “We cannot undo overnight the changes that have occurred in our countryside and rural practices over the last 100 years which have contributed to the decline of dormice.

“But with time and careful management we can create sustainable areas of woodland and hedgerows so that dormice can re-establish themselves and thrive.”

This year marks the 24th dormouse reintroduction by PTES at 19 different sites, with more than 750 dormice released across 12 English counties over the last 21 years.

6 thoughts on “English hazel dormice news

  1. Pingback: Save British mammals | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  3. Pingback: Good hazel dormice news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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