We spoke to Great.com on the podcast series Great.com Talks With…The series explains causes like ours to listeners, in a way that’s easy to understand. The interview took place with our very own Ian White, PTES Dormouse Officer. He explains why dormice are particularly valuable in all kinds of conservation work.
Dormice are an indicator of high quality habitat. This is because they have specific living conditions they can survive in. In other words, if there are dormice in a natural environment, it means there’s a broad range of other species there as well, which makes dormice a key indicator species.
Keeping dormice in mind as an example for trends in other species, it’s significant that the UK has lost 50% of dormice in the last 20 years. With weather conditions changing throughout the year, and over time in general, dormice need to be able to hibernate, breed and move. These activities are becoming increasingly difficult for them, as for other species, due to diminishing woodlands, habitat fragmentation and climate change, Ian explains. Although the situation for dormice is particularly bad in the UK, it’s likely to be similar across Europe.
PTES monitors dormice across the UK. We run programs to help others manage their land, to re-establish dormice where they’ve become extinct and to improve habitat links. Over the next decade we’re hoping to see dormouse decline stabilise and eventually populations to increase again.
Internationally, PTES fund projects concerning any species at risk, that we believe can be impactful. Apart from offering funding to NGOs for conservation projects, we offer internships and funding to young people coming out of university, wanting to start their career as conservationists. We also have ample volunteering opportunities that give people the chance to get out and, under the guidance of specialists and enthusiasts, bring back biodiversity and rebuild a connection with the countryside that supports us.
If you want to get involved, visit https://ptes.org/get-involved/.
To access the full interview, search ‘Great.com Talks With… PTES’ on any of your favourite podcast apps.
Photo by Clare Pengelly