Five species of wild mammals could benefit from a new appeal from Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

The Trust’s ‘Protecting Cornwall’s Mammals Appeal’ is aiming to raise funds and awareness to aid the conservation of hedgehogs, hazel dormice, bats, badgers and beavers.

Daniel Eva, a trustee of Cornwall Wildlife Trust said: “Cornwall is a great place for mammals. We are lucky enough to have good populations of some rare species like the hazel dormouse, the barbastelle and greater horseshoe bat. However they continue to suffer from habitat loss, habitat changes due to lack of management and increasing urban development causing habitat fragmentation. With your help we can better understand the threats they are facing and help to reconnect the places they live.”

One third of hedgehogs have been lost since 2000 and less than one million are left in the UK. The charity is helping to coordinate Operation Hedgehog, a county-wide initiative to raise awareness about how people can come to their aid.

As well as habitat loss, mild winters can cause dormice to wake from hibernation and suffer starvation. The charity makes monthly dormouse box checks at nature reserves from April to October, to assess populations in these potential strongholds. It is also planning to install 100 new dormouse boxes around the area and other nature reserves around the region.

Conservation measures over the past two decades have helped stabilise the declining bat population. Cornwall is a stronghold for a wide variety of bats including rare species. Work needs to be done to restore and protect broadleaved woodland at reserves, to provide more homes and feeding grounds for the vulnerable insectivores.

The future of Cornwall’s badger population is far from clear. The Trust advocates badger vaccination against bovine TB and needs to survey badgers on its nature reserves to estimate numbers and calculate cost requirements of vaccination across their land holdings. Once this preparatory has been completed, fundraising can potentially begin in order to run a prospective badger vaccination project.

Studies by the Trust and partner universities are determining whether Eurasian beavers ease flooding. Funds are required to communicate the results of this academic work, as well as plan ground-breaking research to assess how the quality of Cornwall’s inshore coastal waters might be improved through beavers’ dam building and pond construction.