Animals: Lost short-eared mouse rediscovered in Bavaria

As soon as it was discovered, it was considered lost again: experts have now tracked down the rare Bavarian short-eared mouse in this country again.

Animals: Lost short-eared mouse rediscovered in Bavaria

As soon as it was discovered, it was considered lost again: experts have now tracked down the rare Bavarian short-eared mouse in this country again. One of these underground voles fell into a live trap in Upper Bavaria, as the State Office for the Environment (LfU) in Augsburg announced. A DNA analysis of the feces revealed that it was actually a specimen of the small mammal. The LfU speaks of a sensational find.

The species was first discovered in Bavaria in 1962 and was therefore named "Microtus bavaricus". But after that, despite repeated searches, it was no longer possible for decades to discover the mouse in Bavaria with its strikingly small eyes and ears almost completely hidden in its gray-brown fur. Later, some specimens were found in the Rofan Mountains in the Austrian Tyrol and were taken to zoos for breeding.

Finally, wildlife cameras in 2022 and 2023 provided the first indications that short-eared mice could still occur in Bavaria. “With a striking accumulation of recordings of potential Bavarian short-eared mice from the summer of 2023 near Mittenwald, the sensation suddenly seemed tangible,” said biologist Simon Ripperger. In the fall, thanks to the mouse from the live trap, the species was identified.

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