Saving the little-known Roach’s mouse-tailed dormouse
At the moment nothing is known about the daily and seasonal activity patterns of the Roach's mouse-tailed dormouse, nor their population numbers, their diet or potential threats.
Roach’s dormouse (Myomimus roachi) is one of the least-known and rarest rodents in Europe. They are only found in the western part of Turkey and southeast Bulgaria. Despite many searches over the past few years, only a handful of individuals have been found at three sites.
PTES is funding Nedko Nedyalkov and his team, to learn more about the biology and ecology of this elusive animal. With support from The Habitat Foundation in the Netherlands, they are hoping to discover what habitat they prefer, what they feed on and where they hibernate.
In the summer of 2017, the first mouse-tailed dormouse was captured in Bulgaria for 40 years. It was caught in the Sakar mountains, in semi-open grassland area with shrubs, scattered old oak and pear trees. In the neighbouring Turkish region, the species occurs in similar habitats. Nedko suspects that these are their preferred habitats, rather than the arable land where it was captured in the 1960s.
The team are undertaking their field work in two mountain ranges, Sakar and the Eastern Rhodopes. Within these two areas, the team are checking any potentially good habitats based on latest information. These will be areas very similar to those where the species was recently caught or where it was found in owl pellets.
Featured image credit: Rollin Verlinde.