On 10—13th of May, 2022, at the Cultural Center ‘Prosveta — 1870‘ in Svilengrad, the XI International Dormouse Conference (IDC 2022) took place, organised by The Habitat Foundation from The Netherlands and the National Museum of Natural History, Sofia with the partnership of the Society of Animalists, Florists, and Scientific Illustrators. The International Dormouse Conference (IDC) is organised every three years in order to gather scientists and conservationists who can share their discoveries and ideas for the research and conservation of species from the family Gliridae. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, the conference was rescheduled from 2020 to 2022.
The museum’s Director Prof. Pavel Stoev opened the conference together with the doyen of the international dormouse research community, Pat Morris, who welcomed the participants in a video sent to the organisers.
More than 80 scientists from 22 countries took part in the conference, with England and Germany having the most participants. A total of 45 presentations and 29 posters presented current issues and results from the research of scientists around the world.
The Bulgarian Roach’s mouse-tailed dormouse (Myomimus roachi) is one of the rarest, most secretive and sparsely studied mammals in Europe and was a highlight for the conference presentations. For the first time, data about the ecology and biology of this dormouse collected during intensive studies over the last 3 years (2019—2022) under the guidance of Dr Nedko Nedyalkov (NMNHS) were presented.
Also presented were studies on all species of European dormice focusing on different aspects of their ecology, biology, anatomy and morphology, distribution, conservation, parasitology, bioacoustics, genetics, etc. The complex studies that combine more than one aspect of the life of the garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus) in Germany were of special interest.
The choice of Bulgaria and the NMNHS for conference host is yet another recognition of the contribution of Bulgarian scientists in researching the group and of the unique biodiversity of the region.
On the topic of the conference, the Society of Animalists, Florists, and Scientific Illustrators (SAFSI) presented the exhibit ‘Dormice — the Charming and Hidden Guardians of the Forest’. The exhibit, which was curated by art critic Ms Hristina Grozdanova, includes over 30 works on the topic created by 13 experienced and young artists, all members of SAFSI. The exhibit arrived in Svilengrad after its first show in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. A special guest-participant for the exhibit was Romanian artist Dana Ivorchi.
After its presentation, the exhibit was offered at a public bidding charity auction in support of the research and conservation of the Bulgarian mouse-tailed dormouse. The auction raised 210 BGN, which were given to the research team of the National Museum of Natural History , Sofia led by Dr Nedko Nedyalkov for the continuation of the study and conservation of the species in our country.
The event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/623636751557877
Conference website: https://dormouseconference.habitatfoundation.org/