Dormouse Detectives - A Science Mystery

Science 52' 2023 4K

Although garden dormice are at home in large parts of Europe, hardly anyone really knows these rodents with their Zorro mask and those beady eyes. Hence, only few people initially noticed when the animals began to suddenly and inexplicably disappear throughout the entire continent. But when even classic garden dormouse strongholds, like the Bavarian Fichtelgebirge, reported them missing, researchers and conservationists sounded the alarm. Hurriedly BUND Friends of the Earth, the Senckenberg Research Institute and the University of Giessen got together to form a task force of unprecedented size and scope. The Dormouse Detectives strive to find out how many, where and why the garden dormice are disappearing. In their effort to gather as many clues as possible, the investigators even enlist the help of the general population. While citizen scientists work with garden dormouse monitoring devices or report sightings, students equip garden dormouse undercover agents with transmitters to learn more about sources of danger in the daily lives of the nocturnal omnivores. While a veterinarian examines corpses of garden dormice, wildlife stations care for their orphans. And  toxicology experts analyze tissue samples in search for environmental poisons and pesticides. Other special forensic units rifle through stomach contents for decisive clues or analyze genetic samples. Time is of the essence. Only if the Dormouse Detectives manage to solve this puzzling case fast, may they still be able to save the species.

Produced by

Marco Polo Film

Languages

English, French, German

Broadcasters

BR, MDR, Arte

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