Directly from the dpa news channel
Frankfurt / Main (dpa / lhe) – One of its defining characteristics is the typical “Zorro mask” as a fur pattern around darker dark eyes. Otherwise, the garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus) can easily be confused with the dormice and its relatives, which, like the nocturnal dormice in the garden, belong to the family of the dormouse. Large carnivores from 12 to 17 cm in size were widespread in origin, from the Portuguese Atlantic coast to the Urals. But conservationists are sounding the alarm now: In the past 30 years alone, the prevalence of the ornamental plant in the garden has decreased by nearly 50 percent across Europe. A joint project between the Association for Environmental and Nature Conservation of Germany (BUND), the Senckenberg Society for Nature Conservation and Giessen Liebig University aims to trace its presence in Hesse.
The odds that gardeners in Hesson will see or hear a garden spell aren’t bad: In Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse and Nord Rhein-Westfalen, many records have been obtained in the past two years, said Susan Stipe, project manager of the BUND. In the Rhine Main region in particular, there are still relatively many garden sleepers. However, in Harz, in Fichtelgebirge and in the Bavarian Forest, where the dormouse garden was so prevalent until a few years ago, there is very much no report.
The fear is that regional extinctions can currently be observed here. “It looks like there are big differences between cities,” said Stipe. This is also evident in the comparison between the state capital and Frankfurt: while the reins of the park is well known to residents of Wiesbaden, it only occurs very selectively in Frankfurt. The reasons are not yet known.
In order to track down dormice in the park, conservationists hope to obtain information from residents and set up an online reporting point. The results should help create a protection concept for sleepy little mice.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210417-99-239412 / 2