I have just got back today from the annual Common Dormouse Conservation Breeders Group meeting, this year held out Whipsnade Zoo.
Most of you are aware that a couple of years a go we joined this group to help with the nationwide conservation efforts with one of Britain's cutest animals! Over the past 2 years we have successfully bred many of these animals, all helping with the release program.
The meeting consisted of the usual catch up on the state of affairs, new veterinary screening, new husbandry techniques etc. As well as new possible release sites, plans for future breeding animals and success of previous releases.
A total of 23 pairs of dormice have been nominated for release this year, of which we have contributed 9 individuals. These animals now go for an extensive vet screening before being released later in the year.
We still have our breeding pair on site, and a couple of youngsters not required for release this year and will be allocated a new breeding pair plus additional "education" dormice later next month. These education dormice in particular will be hugely beneficial in terms of allowing people to have a closer look at these rarely seen mammals, and for dormouse handling training which the Surrey Wildlife Trust is keen to use our facilities for.
More dormouse news, very exciting news, to follow at the end of next week!
Thanks to Ian Rentoul for his photograph above, have a look at a few of his other pictures by following the link above.