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#144 European Hamster

Critically Endangered

These went from being classed as least concern back in 2016 to getting reassessed this year and are now listed as critically endangered. I saw a paper on a study about them from 2019 before the recent survey. It said that they would probably adjust well to an urban environment. They did note that the hamster had a shorter hibernation time. It was thought that was probably because of an abundance of food. They said that the hamsters had an extremely short lifespan of less than a year, though that didn't seem to be something they felt could be a big threat. Interestingly, they live up to 8 years in good habitat, but only 1-2 years while in captivity because they don't hibernate. The number of young in their litters has dropped as well, from 15-20 young down to only 5 or 6. They have lost a lot of their habitat. It was said that light pollution could even be a threat, they are mainly nocturnal creatures so that makes some sense I'd say. I did not see any articles on it, but I would be curious to see if they've found that the urban hamsters shorter hibernation is actually due to noise and light pollution. I wonder if that could also account for the smaller litters even, and certainly could shorten their lifespan.

I was a biology major intending to go into medicine, until I realized I didn't enjoy chemistry. I don't think I would have been a very good scientist dealing with animals, because I have a very hard time not trying to read the emotions of any animal I deal with. I would be anthropomorphising even earthworms and other scientists would never take me seriously. For paintings, it doesn't matter, and my propensity to find personalities in everything, even trees if I am completely honest, might actually be a good thing.

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