Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens
AG Säugetierkunde in NRW
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The Garden Dormouse with its striking facial mask is the most colourful native mammal after the European Hamster. It belongs to the evolutionarily old family of the glirids or dormice. Besides the Garden Dormouse, the Hazel dormouse and the Edible Dormouse also occur in NRW. Except by their ability to sleep through the winter, these animals can also be distinguished from other rodents through a special tooth structure and the missing caecum. The missing caecum leads to a comparatively high proportion of animal food in these species, for only through animal food these species are able to have a balanced K- and B-metabolism.
The Garden Dormouse is limited in its occurrence to Europe. During the last 100 years the species has lost about 40% of its original area of distribution, without the reasons for this being elucidated. Perhaps climate warming plays a role in this.
In NRW, the species appears as a commensal in the vicinity of Bonn and as a culturally sensitive species in the highlands of the southern-Westphalian hill country in areas with sparse ground vegetation. Part of the north-western habitat boundary runs through NRW. In NRW too, a decline of the species has been recorded. The last Westphalian records are from the year 1995 (H. Immekus, pers. comm.). In Bonn, the species is far less often reported as a Poltergeist in houses than previously (R. Hutterer, pers. comm.). So far the species is not included in a list of species especially worthy of protection, which led to the neglect on the part of the volunteer nature protection efforts, although in International Comparison, the Federal Republic of Germany has a special responsibility for the preservation of the species.
Meinig H (2023): Gartenschläfer (Eliomys quercinus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/27
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