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Dormouse reintroduction update

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In June, we coordinated the release of 39 dormice in a woodland in Warwickshire as part of the Natural England Species Recovery Programme. It was a big day for the dormice and everyone involved in the release – and it all went according plan! This is our first dormouse reintroduction update for 2018.

Team talk

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It takes a team to reintroduce 39 dormice! Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England, ZSL (Zoological Society of London), Paignton Zoo and the Common Dormouse Captive Breeders Group all helped make this year's reintroduction such a success.

The first checks

All the dormice released are captive bred and so to prepare them for their life in the wild we tend to fatten them up a bit in captivity to give them a head start in their new home. On release day, the average weight of the dormice was 23.6g. Ten days later when the cages were opened the weights had dropped to an average of 20.11g. This is closer to the weights of wild dormice in June which is about 16.8g – perhaps they know that they need to be lean and agile to survive!

The volunteers are providing food for the dormice throughout the summer. The next check will be in September so we will see how they are faring then.

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