25.09.2018 change 25.09.2018

Successful reintroduction of edible dormouse in the Barlinek-Gorzów Landscape Park

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

The reintroduction program of an arboreal rodent - edible dormouse conducted since 2011 in Barlinecko-Gorzowski Landscape Park (on the border of Lubusz and West Pomeranian provinces), is starting to bring results. This year for the first time there were young in one of the nests.

This means that there are not only individuals released by humans in the population, but also their offspring, told PAP Paweł Cieniuch, chief specialist at the Barlinek-Gorzów Landscape Park.

"This year, for the first time we registered a family with three young dormice in one of the monitored nests. We consider the new individuals an example of successful reintroduction and effective care for this species" - Cieniuch told PAP.

Over seven years, 208 dormice were released in the park`s forests, and 48 nest boxes for these rodents were hung. From May to October they are inspected every two weeks. Food (sunflower seeds) is also supplied. In previous years, there were only adult animals in the boxes.

In 2008 and 2009, not a single dormouse was found in the Barlinek-Gorzów Landscape Park`s forests. From 2011 are animals caught in the southern and eastern part of the country, the area of Roztocze, where their natural population is stable, have been used for reintroduction (reintroducing native species of animals and plants in their old habitats).

Environmental conditions in the Barlinek-Gorzów Landscape Park are very beneficial for this species. There are old beech stands often populated by dormice, as well as mixed forests with the participation of beeches and other tree stands with oak, hornbeam, hazel and larch.

Acclimation of dormice takes place in light, wire cages placed in trees. The animals remain closed in them for one week and are fed. Then, the cages are opened, but the food is still laid out for some time so that the dormice do not spread too quickly over a large area.

Dormouse is an arboreal rodent of the family Gliridae, similar in size to a small squirrel. Its characteristic feature is a furry tail. The biology of the species is strongly associated with beech forests.

"This still rare species is slowly but systematically returning to the territory of north-western Poland. Its habitat requirements have caused that it has only been present again for a few years in the forest near Gorzów, where forest management taking into account the dormouse habitat needs has been introduced in the State Forests" - added Cieniuch.

The project of reintroduction and monitoring of dormice in the Barlinek-Gorzów Landscape Park is carried out by the Polish Society for the Protection of Nature "Salamandra" from Poznań, with the support of the Strzelce Krajeńskie Forestry Inspectorate.

From the environmental point of view, the project is aimed at increasing biodiversity of the environment, that is expanding the list of native species of flora and fauna, which is also the fulfilment of the requirements of the international Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) of 1992. (PAP)

author: Marcin Rynkiewicz

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