In the heart of the Isle of Wight‘s lush woodlands, a dedicated guardian is protecting one of the U.K.’s most enigmatic and vulnerable mammals: the hazel dormouse. Ian White works for the People’s Trust for Endangered Species as a Dormouse Officer, perhaps one of the more unusual job titles on the planet.
In this clip from 24 Hours With, host Yussef Rafik tours the woods with White. They’re checking on a few dormouse nests and footprint tunnels to see how this small, elusive, and a-dor-able species is fairing in the wild.
“The Isle of Wight is one of their last strongholds, as dormouse numbers have fallen by more than 51% since the year 2000, and they’re still seriously threatened by climate change, habitat destruction, and changes to woodland management. Dormice are a protected species, but licensed dormice officers like Ian use artificial nest boxes to help monitor the individuals that we have left.”
“Being arboreal, dormice spend most of their time in the trees. They build their nest further down the trunk and hibernate on the ground under the roots and leaf litter… Building a cozy nest is vital for dormice because they spend up to six months hibernating through the winter. They tuck themselves into a ball of plant material ready for a nice snooze.”
More about hibernation and conservation efforts on TKSST:
• What’s the difference between hibernation and sleep?
• L’orchestre d’hibernation animaux and how animals hibernate
• Searching for Water Voles
• Inside a badger sett: Three cubs filmed with hidden cameras
• What happens when beavers are reintroduced to England?
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