As dormice get ready for their long winter’s sleep, conservationists are starting their frantic activity to rescue these little creatures and prevent their extinction at this most critical time of the year.
Another victim of climate change, rising temperatures mean more dormouse babies are being born in late summer, but if underweight, they will perish as winter approaches.
Two dormice have already been rescued, one found lying in a bin the other had been attacked by a cat, as the charity prepares to rescue more in the coming weeks.
Disaster was averted earlier this year when vital funds that pay for this work were stolen in an audacious robbery. In a twist of fate security cameras originally bought to monitor dormice actually caught the thieves red handed and lead to an arrest and conviction.
The story quickly became viral with hundreds of thousands of shares on social media and widespread television coverage. This led to hundreds of donations from generous supporters that has allowed Wildwood to build new facilities to help even more dormice this year.
Wildwood’s dedicated experts and volunteers have worked for over 15 years to create a project that can reverse this extinction, with over 170 dormice released to sites across the UK in places where they have previously become extinct. Research has demonstrated the dormice have thrived and bred after being released to their new woodland homes.
The dormouse is one of Britain’s most threatened creatures and scientific reports are confirming the dormouse is heading for extinction with numbers plummeting by 70% in the last 20 years alone. Dormice was once widespread across England and Wales. But with the loss of woodland and hedgerows, populations have rapidly declined.
Hazel Ryan, Wildwood’s Senior Conservation Officer said,
“We work tirelessly to protect these animals and are proud that we play such a major role to reintroduce the Hazel Dormouse back to areas where they have become extinct. Wildwood is not only one of the leading dormouse breeders in the UK, but is also an important centre for research into the behaviour and captive husbandry of the species.”
Wildwood are hoping that more people will support the work they do with the hazel dormouse and have launched an appeal: Click here to help
Photo Credit: Jules Cox
Julie Luna Bayer: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01227 209618 or 07453 497086
Peter Smith: email@example.com 07986 828229
Wildwood: 01227 209 617