Can you help me?
Dormice were once found all over the UK, but now we’re mainly limited to southern England and Wales. Our homes are disappearing and we can’t move around the countryside like we used to, to find food and friends. It’s become so bad that we’re vulnerable to extinction!
People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) wants us dormice to thrive across Britain once again. They’d planned to reintroduce us to a woodland in Cumbria in June, but it all got postponed due to restrictions imposed by the ongoing pandemic.
Hi, my name’s Hazel, one of 40 dormice set to be released into the wild this summer. While we weren’t able to make it to the woodland this year, PTES is now making up for lost time, with a bigger and even more ambitious plan to protect me and my friends. Over the next two years, they will release us at not just one, but three sites across Cumbria. We’ll be able to move between the three woodlands to find food and a mate. This will give us the best possible chance to flourish in our new home. Hurrah!
Without intervention, we could become completely extinct in northern England.
With your help, PTES will release me and a further 39 dormice in the summer of 2021 at one site in Cumbria. They’ll release another 40 the following year to an adjacent site, and ten more 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 reintroduction requires a huge amount of planning, resources, and expertise. Captive-bred dormice, like me, are initially placed in pairs in soft-release cages for ten days, in the hope that we’ll breed during this time. The specially designed cages have a small door which is opened on the tenth day so we can explore our new woodland home, returning to the safety of the cage whenever we want to. Local volunteers provide supplementary food for us, such as seeds, fruits, and nuts. They do this for a couple of months after the release, slowly reducing the amount they provide as we settle into our 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, we’d gone completely extinct. 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, like us, trust PTES to do the upmost to protect dormice. Please make a donation today to help PTES get this ambitious project underway so that my friends and I can start our new lives in the country.