A few days ago there were indications that I had another rat problem at the feeding station at night.
So I started to look at the night shots from the cameras.
And there it was, a few days later, the rat… Uh, no, that’s not what a rat looks like…
After a short search on the internet, I had the answer to the mystery. The supposed rat was in fact a so-called garden dormouse.
Info about the garden dormouse
The garden dormouse is the small relative of the dormouse and belongs to the dormouse family.
With a body length of 12-17cm and a tail length of 10-14cm, it is slightly smaller than the dormouse. In summer the garden dormouse weighs 60-90g, in winter with winter fat it can weigh up to 130g.
The garden dormouse is nocturnal and hibernates during the winter (October to April).
Originally, the garden dormouse was native to many parts of Europe. Unfortunately, however, its numbers have been declining steadily for some years and no one knows exactly why. In some parts of Europe it is already considered extinct, in other parts it is already on the red list of endangered species or is about to be added to this list. Here in Germany, too, it has already disappeared in many regions.
In order to research the causes and to record the current population, BUND, together with the Senckenberg Society and the University of Giessen, has launched the project “In Search of the Garden Dormouse”. Since 2019, you can report sightings of the garden dormouse here and thus contribute to researching the causes of its disappearance.
Of course, I have already reported the sighting at my feeding station.
If you too spot a garden dormouse, whether alive or sadly dead, then you too can report the find here: www.gartenschlaefer.de
Further information on the garden dormouse and valuable tips on how to support it can be found on the BUND website: “Der Gartenschläfer – Zorro braucht Hilfe!”
Here’s another video from 16 June 2021. That night, four garden dormice came to the feeding area at once and ate their fill at the individual feeding stations. A really great sight…