The Dormouse HollowDormouse Logo

Dormouse Talk

Digest 5 September 2000 - Vol. 1, No. 4

Dormouse Talk Instructions and Archives
How to Subscribe
Compliled and Edited by Werner Haberl
Number of recipients: > 105

Contents of this Issue:

Please share your thoughts and answers with the rest of the group!
Replies to the following messages should be sent as CC-Mail to


1) Results from the September 2000 Nestbox-Check in England (P. Morris)

Dear Werner,
Yesterday (Sept 3rd) we checked our Glis nestboxes and got 166 animals! It took 8.5 hours to process them all. There were many litters, including one of 11 babies. Some of the adults were first marked (as adults) in 1996.

Despite regular visits were are still getting considerable numbers of new adult animals, suggesting continuous immigration. Yet no animals are removed by us and radio tracking suggests that Glis do not move about very much. Perhaps Glis actually do move about more than we think? The very high numbers of litters this year, and use of nest boxes normally left empty, suggets another good year for reproduction. The last such year was 1998. Then, and this year, there has been a very big crop of nuts on the beech trees. Some other years there have been few babies (even none at all) and the beech has been much less productive. This year we have also had babies produced by animals born last year, ie at one year old. This is the first time we have been able to confirm that this can happen here.

Pat Morris
Royal Holloway University of London
Egham, Surrey

Dear Pat,
Wrt reproduction in one year old Glis, I recall that this was reported from Turkey: If I remember correctly, we were shown young dormice (one year) with their offspring at the excursion to northern Thrace when we were at the Edirne conference in 1999. I recall your discussion with Beytullah Ozkan about this... Let me know if I'm confusing something.

Werner Haberl

2) Results from the September 2000 Nestbox-Check in Slovenia (B. Kryštufek)

We checked ca. 80 nest boxes in predominantly Fagus forest in south-central Slovenia. Our results are just the oposite from what Par Morris is reporting.

Altogether, there were only seven Glis glis, mainly animals from the last year. No signs of any reproduction; last year was a very good year for reproduction, and consequently, for dormouse trapping. We started with nest boxes last year, but this time we got our first Muscardinus; besides, there were also two Dryomys in the same box, a female and a young of the year.

Boris Kryštufek
Slovenian Museum of Natural History
Ljubljana, Slovenia

3) Results from the September 2000 Nestbox-Check in Sicily, Italy (M. Sarà)

We have checked our nestboxs as usual and in this season we didn't find any Muscardinus. Glis glis is beginning to colonize nestboxes, less and later than last year, when at the beginning of September we had already checked more than 20 animals. This year, so far we have got only two males - one in the end of August and the second the 3th Semptember. they were both unmarked.

We feel we will have some more animals at the check in the end of September, but probably the past density will not be reached. In that last year there was a mast crop for oak acorns and many Glis were in the nestboxes.

I avail myself of the opportunity to ask for information and advice about Glis glis radiotracking. Is anybody, in the "Hollow", using this method?

Best wishes

Maurizio Sara
Department of Animal Biology
Palermo, Sicily, Italy

4) Competition for Nest Boxes? (W. Haberl)

A few questions that just occurred to me in view of the nest boxes many are using to monitor dormice: Are there any observations of competition for nest boxes among Glis and/or other dormouse species? How do the holders of nest boxes defend their artificial home? Are there any reports of dormice raiding the nests of other dormice?

I know that wood mice (Apodemus) and tits (Parus) make use of the nestboxes that are put up for dormice. Is there any evidence of dormice raiding these nests?

During my visits to Slovenia and checking nestboxes together with B. Kryštufek in 1999 I have seen that large nestboxes can be inhabited by 3 or more dormice (Glis) (not nestlings). Can anybody give a maximum number of (adult) Glis living together? Are these animals usually related to another? If so, do we find mixed litters in such large nestboxes? Are there any studies that show how and to what extent genetically related dormice make use of the nest boxes in their surroundings?

And finally, is the fact that we are providing additional artificial nesting places by putting up nest boxes affecting population densities? In other words, is there a study comparing population sizes as revealed and estimated from trapping and from checking of nest boxes in either the same area or adjacent / similar areas? Do nest boxes attract animals by providing optimal conditions? To my understanding a certain habitat provides a certain amount of space for certain animals to live and survive in it. Aren't additionally provided nest boxes provoking and causing an "overuse" of the area, something the habitat might not be prepared to cope with?

Just a few thoughts...

Werner Haberl

Dormouse Bibliography: New Publications:

Thanks to all for sending copies, reprints! - Werner

Vaughan, T.A, J.M. Ryan, N.J. Czaplewski. 2000. Mammalogy. 4th Edition. Harcourt College Publishers, New York. 565 pp. + glossary, bibliography and index.
Dormice are covered on pp. 305-306.


1) Early moulting in captive Glis - or is there something wrong?

Wir haben seit ca. 2 1/2 Wochen sieben junge Siebenschlaefer, die jetzt anfangen feste Nahrung zu fressen. Seit ca. zwei Tagen faellt uns auf, dass sie um den Kopf herum nackig werden. Unsere Frage ist nun, wechseln die Siebenschlaefer nochmals das Fell? Ueber eine schnelle Rueckantwort wuerden wir uns freuen.

Mit freundlichen Gruessen / Sincerely yours
Birgit Schroff

B. Schroff has 7 young dormice (Glis glis) since 2 1/2 weeks and they are now starting to eat solid food. She has noticed that they are getting bold at the head. Could this be due to a moult or is there something wrong?

What's New in the Dormouse Hollow?
Number of Visitors (Date: 5 September 2000): >1247
Number of recipients: >105

Dormouse Talk Instructions

Dormouse Talk Instructions: ... how to join, post & leave

Dr. Werner Haberl
Chair, Insectivore Specialist Group
Species Survival Commission
IUCN - The World Conservation Union

Hamburgerstr. 11, A-1050 Vienna, Austria
The Dormouse Hollow:
The Shrew Shrine:

Back to Dormouse Talk Archives / Index