A rare tree dormouse was found in an Austrian forest after more than 20 years of not being seen in the wild.
The animal was found after a forester looked for it for more than two years.
We don’t know much about the species. Researchers want to learn more about the species before it sleeps for the winter. It is very well protected by the European Fauna-Flora-Habitat Directive.
The tree dormouse has silver fur, a bushy tail, and black eyes that bulge out. Even though it looks cute, it is a nocturnal creature that eats everything.
The federal foresters have been looking for the animals all over Austria for the past two years with the help of a group that works to protect nature.
Anna-Sophie Pirtscher, an Austrian forester, has been looking for animal tracks in the Postalm area for the past two summers. There are a total of 30 nesting boxes in 15 different places.
Pirtscher says that it is scary every time she opens one of these nesting boxes. A tree dormouse might be in there. But even if it’s “just” a dormouse, I think they are very cute and it’s always exciting to see one.”
Lastly, Pirtscher found a tree mouse sleeping in a nest box. “It’s a big deal to finally find a tree dormouse after two years and hold it in your hands. “That’s awesome.”
The discovery on the Postalm also shows the forest manager of the Bundesforste something else: “We are right that tree dormice live in these areas.” “Around 20 years ago” was the last time this animal was seen here:
The forester and the camera didn’t wake up the tree dormouse either, so it must be a creature that comes out at night. Pirtscher says, “I think he’s still working hard to gather food for the winter so he can eat his winter fat.” He should go into hibernation in about two weeks.
The goal of the project is to find out more about tree dormice. The forester says that you can only do that if you know where it is.
“That’s why we want as many people as possible to let us know if they find one. If the cat comes with you, take a picture so you know where it is.” What “dissemination” means and what can be done to help it happen.”
The tree dormouse feels at home in mixed woods near streams. Most of the time, it nests in bird nests or holes in trees that are already there. But now, not much is known about the shy animals.
“We know it is there. We know it lives in the forest and eats seeds, nuts, and insects. We don’t know much more than that, though.”
After a short time, the tree dormouse that was found during the shoot was let back into the warm nesting box so that it would be healthy enough to go out at night and look for food.