Efforts to reintroduce the korenwolf, or wild hamster (Cricetus cricetus), to Limburg have succeeded and there are now some 500 of the small rodents living in the wild, according to research institute Alterra.
By 1999, there was just a handful of hamsters left in the wild. A number were caught and placed in a captive breeding programme, along with some other hamsters from Germany and Belgium.
The hamsters now live on a 500 hectare site in Limburg but Alterra recommends this be extended to 750 hectares. The organisation also suggests surrounding the reserve with barbed wire to keep out foxes, which are partial to eating rodents.
‘If you have gone to all that trouble to get the population up to strength again, no-one would understand it if you then let them die out,’ Limburg provincial council executive Ger Driessen told Nos tv.
The discovery of wild hamsters led to at least one major building project being suspended in the 1990s.
They’re back: read our comment on the Korenwolf from 2006
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