In May 2022 our colleagues, Assistant professor Dr Yordan Koshev and Assistant professor Dr Maria Kacahamakova from the Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, visited breeding centers for European hamster (Cricetus cricetus) in Metelen, Germany and the Gaya Zoo in the Netherlands. The aim of the visit was to learn on site the successful methods of raising, breeding and reintroducing of this critically endangered species.
The visit is part of the activities of rare species of small mammals conservation, executed within the project Life for Falcons. The planned activities include developing of the first of its kind in Bulgaria breeding center for Romanian hamster (Mesocricetus newtoni) – a rare endemic rodent, that lives only in Northeastern Bulgaria and Southeastern Romania. It plays an important role in the ecosystems since it is a part of the food base of the Saker falcon and other endangered species. Its population decreases and there is no gathered information regarding its raising and breeding in captivity.