Of dormice and men

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

LAST week, 19 breed­ing pairs and trios of rare hazel dormice were rein­tro­duced into the woods of War­wick­shire, an ini­tia­tive led by the Peo­ple’s Trust for En­dan­gered Species (PTES) to stem the species’ de­cline.

In the past 20 years, dor­mouse num­bers have plum­meted by 70%, claims new re­search from the Univer­sity of Ex­eter, de­spite the fact that, over the past 24 years, the PTES has done its best to help, with more than 864 dormice re­leased at 22 dif­fer­ent sites across 12 English coun­ties. The de­cline of the adorable hazel dor­mouse, with its caramel fur and big black eyes, is at­trib­uted to the loss of wood­land and hedgerow habi­tat and changes to coun­try­side man­age­ment. It is now ex­tinct across 17 English coun­ties.

The War­wick­shire rein­tro­duc­tion, sup­ported by the Her­itage Lottery Fund, marks the cul­mi­na­tion of weeks of work by the PTES and part­ners War­wick­shire Wildlife Trust, Nat­u­ral Eng­land, Zoo­log­i­cal So­ci­ety of London, Paign­ton Zoo and the Com­mon Dor­mouse Cap­tive Breed­ers Group.

War­wick­shire Wildlife Trust is work­ing on larger ac­tion for wildlife in the area, restor­ing nearly 750 acres of an­cient wood­land and 12 miles of historic hedgerows, which in­clude old par­ish bound­aries, 15 ponds and 50 acres of flower-rich grass­land, over the next four years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.