ARPHA Conference Abstracts : Conference Abstract
Conference Abstract
Home ranges and activity of Garden Dormice in the Harz Mountains, Germany
expand article infoJulia-Marie Battermann, Mona Wuttke, Dania Richter, Sven Büchner§,|
‡ Technische Universität Braunschweig, Institute of Geoecology, Landscape Ecology and Environmental Systems Analysis, Langer Kamp 19c, 38106 Braunschweig, Germany
§ Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Clinic for birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, Working Group for Wildlife Research, Frankfurter Strasse 114, 35392 Giessen, Germany
| Senckenberg Museum of Natural History Görlitz; Am Museum 1, 02826 Görlitz, Germany
Open Access


For the conservation of endangered species, a good knowledge of their biology is essential. However, due to the secluded lifestyle and nocturnal activity of the Garden Dormouse (Eliomys quercinus), comprehensive research on these small mammals is difficult, resulting in a lack of data. Little is known about the habitat requirements of Garden Dormice in forest habitats. Radio tracking was used to analyze movement patterns to identify specific features of their habitat in the Harz Mountains National Park in Germany (~700 m a.s.l.). Four individuals (2 females, 2 males) were tracked during 11 weeks from May until September 2021. Home ranges were calculated using minimum convex polygon (MCP) and fixed kernel density estimation (KDE) methods. Home range sizes (100% MCP) of males were between 0.58 ha and 7.62 ha and of females between 3.63 ha and 6.39 ha. The size of the core areas (65% KDE) was 0.25 ha - 3.08 ha for males and 1.94 ha - 6.18 ha for females. Whereas the start of their daily activity did not correlate with sunset, the end of activity was associated with sunrise. The females never switched their nesting sites, but the males used 7 -10 nesting sites. Nesting sites were located between boulders and inside deadwood piles. Deadwood is an important habitat for insects which serve as food for Garden Dormice (and other small mammals). To this species in its natural habitat it is necessary to sustain deadwood in forests.


In Search of the Garden Dormouse, radio tracking

Presenting author

Julia-Marie Battermann

Presented at

Poster presented at the 11th international Dormouse Conference (May 9-13, 2022)

Funding program

This project is/was funded by the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation with resources from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection.