Can you help dormice?
Dormice are under threat in the UK. They’re vulnerable to extinction due to habitat loss and fragmentation, confined predominantly to southern England and Wales despite once being prevalent in the north too. People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) wants dormice to thrive across Britain again. We’d planned a dormouse reintroduction for June this year, but it had to be postponed due to restrictions imposed by the ongoing pandemic.
Now PTES wants to make up for lost time, with a bigger and even more ambitious plan to protect dormice. Over the next two years, they’ll release dormice at not just one, but three woodlands across Cumbria, with safe, leafy, connecting corridors of hedgerow so that they can travel between sites to find food and a mate. This will give them the best possible chance to flourish in their new home.
Without intervention, we could become completely extinct in northern England.
With your help, PTES will release 40 dormice in the summer of 2021 at one site in Cumbria. They’ll release another 40 the following year to an adjacent site, and another ten at a third site in the same year, to improve the genetic diversity of the reintroduced populations.
PTES can only make this far-reaching project happen with the help of kind supporters like you. Can you help with a donation?
Each dormouse reintroduction requires a huge amount of planning, resources, and expertise. Captive-bred dormice are initially placed in pairs in soft-release cages for ten days, in the hope that they’ll breed during this time. The specially designed cages have a small door which is opened on the tenth day so the dormice can explore their new woodland home, returning to the safety of the cage whenever they want. Local volunteers will provide supplementary food for us, such as seeds, fruits, and nuts. They’ll continue to do this for a couple of months after the release, slowly reducing the amount they provide as they settle into their new home and find natural food.
As dormice experts, PTES has already reintroduced almost a thousand dormice to twelve counties. In eight of these counties dormice were completely extinct from. PTES has provided over 20,000 dormouse boxes to hundreds of sites across England and Wales to support reintroductions and help with annual monitoring. All this is only possible because of generous supporters who trust PTES to do the upmost to protect dormice. Please make a donation today to help PTES get this ambitious project underway so that dormice can start their new lives in the country.