Forest dormouse in hibernation (c) Lubomir Hlasek
Institution: Österreichische Bundesforste, Forstbetrieb Wienerwald
Project lead: Birgit Rotter
Schloss Eckartsau, 2305 Eckartsau
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Forest areas for the forest dormouse


You can tell by its name: The forest dormouse (Dryomys nitedula) is a characteristic species for deciduous and mixed forests. It belongs to the dormouse family and its survival is inextricably linked with forest habitats. The forest dormouse is protected throughout Europe, but data on its distribution is largely still missing. So where in Austria can he be found?

Have you ever seen a forest dormouse? With his black eye mask, he reminds us of a superhero in action, but in fact he spends a large part of the year in hibernation – a very typical behavior for a dormouse. Even during his activity period, he is a quite cryptic species that lives a hidden life between the branches of the trees. He is seldom seen, and it is not easy to prove his presence in an area. The forest dormouse is almost unknown even among foresters and regular forest guests. 

Therefore, we are searching for him nationwide - beginning from the Danube floodplains, down to the mountains of the Alps. We want to find out more about this cryptic little climber and his habitat preferences and are counting on the help of numerous citizen scientists! There are many ways to take part in the “task force forest dormouse”. Become a citizen scientist and help us to find him!

Our project goals:

  • Where does he live? – Improve the knowledge about the distribution of the forest dormouse in Austria.
  • How can we preserve the habitats of the forest dormouse? – Develop a schedule of measures to protect the species.

What´s happening now:

  • We installed 600 nesting boxes to monitor the forest dormouse populations. 
  • We use camera traps and footprint tunnels to detect our native dormice.
  • We collect reports from citizen scientist. 
  • We provide information material and educational documents.
  • We develop a protection concept and guidelines for forest managers.
  • We share our knowledge at events.

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Tagged under
  • animals
Read 66 times| Last modified on Monday, 11 October 2021 08:02