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Conservationists secure more than £120,000 to protect mice in North Yorkshire

The Hazel Dormouse was extinct in the area until recently Credit: Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority

More than £120,000 has been secured to help protect an endangered breed of dormouse in North Yorkshire.

Around 1,700 metres of hedgerows will be planted in Wensleydale to provide habitat for the Hazel Dormouse.

Experts say dormice had become extinct in the region, but after reintroductions in 2008 and 2016 have regained a presence in an area in the east of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Grants of £75,000 from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species and nearly £48,000 from Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust will go towards conservation work over the next three years.

'Yoda' bat registered as new species thanks to York researcher

The happy 'Hamamas' tube-nosed fruit bat. Credit: York University

An unusual breed of bat – nicknamed ‘Yoda’ because of its likeness to the Star Wars character – has now officially been registered as a new species thanks to a researcher from York University.

Discovered in a remote rainforest of Papua New Guinea, the bat’s distinctive features immediately saw it compared to the Jedi master.

But after examining literature and 3,000 specimens in 18 museums worldwide, York University academic Dr Nancy Irwin found it was a previously unidentified species.

It has now been renamed the happy (Hamamas) tube-nosed fruit bat.

Dr Irwin said: “Since most remote Papuans have never seen Star Wars, I thought it fitting to use a local name: the Hamamas - meaning happy – tube-nosed fruit bat.”

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