Garden dormice are wild animals and particularly protected by the Federal Species Conservation Law (BArtSchV) in association with the Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG).
Therefore it is forbidden to:
– take garden dormice from nature
– disturb garden dormouse willfully
– disturb them significantly during their reproductive period.
That concerns also its reproductive and resting places, thus tree holes, nest boxes and suchlike. Also these may not be taken from nature, damaged or destroyed.
According to § 45 (5) BNatSchG it is allowed to take care for sick or injured animals temporarily in order to nurse them back to health. Throughout Germany there are specialized wildlife rescue centres, which have experience with caregiving of garden dormice. The animals are to be released immediately into freedom again, as soon as they can survive out there independently.
As part of the project “In search of the garden dormouse”, the animals that were handed off in wildlife rescue centres are being re-introduced into the wild in cooperation with the Justus Liebig University and the BUND national associations. In order to preserve the specific features of the different populations in the garden dormouse, previously a genetic test is carried out on the basis of a hair sample. The aim is to take back the animal to the region, where it originated from. This should help to preserve the intraspecific biological diversity in the garden dormouse.