The rare eikelmuis (garden dormouse) is the most endangered rodent in the Netherlands. There are only 100 to 150 of these mice in the south of the Netherlands. 🐭
Garden dormice live across Europe but the situation doesn’t look positive in other regions, particularly because of the environment, says RTL Nieuws. 😔
What are garden dormice?
The name is a little misleading — garden dormice are actually animals that fall between mice and squirrels (and they usually don’t live in gardens either).
They also happen to look and act more like squirrels, jumping from tree to tree with bushy tails. Schattig! (cute!)
Much like hedgehogs, dormice love heavily vegetated areas and eat insects and invertebrates.
The forests in the Netherlands are often cleaned, taking away insect populations and their space to forage and live. 🌳
A tiny population
These little critters live remotely in the woods so it’s rare to come across them if you’re just going on a quick forest stroll. 🚶🏻
Limburg has issued a conservation plan to help protect the areas they live in. The ecological system won’t change drastically if the mouse disappears, but ecologists say protecting biodiversity should be a priority in this case. 🌿
Conservationists plan to improve forest landscapes by leaving vegetation and connecting agricultural spaces to forests.
A Limburg zoo also set up a breeding programme for the animals — so hopefully, the population can grow again. 💪🏼
Have you heard of the garden dormouse before? Tell us in the comments!
Featured Image: Arno Laurent/Wikimedia Commons/CC3.0