Waldmäuse (c) kleinsaeuger.at
Institution: apodemus
Project lead: Stefan & Christine Resch
Marktstraße 51, A–8967 Haus im Ennstal
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The project “GeoMaus” collects information about the distribution of small mammals in Austria, Germany and in Switzerland. Nature enthusiasts are invited to report their observations to learn more about the occurrence of small mammals. Two identification keys (text key and decision tree), information on trace images and on the appearance, biology and way of life of the species will help. The report is made using a form through which the required data such as species, location, date and photo (optional) can be transmitted. An adapted mobile version simplifies the input in the terrain and features a location search function. The received data can be retrieved on a map after a processing time of about one week.

What are small mammals?

The term "small mammals" does not describe a taxonomic group in the strict sense. They are usually the relatively small representatives of mammals from the orders of rodents (Rodentia), shrews (Soricomorpha) and hedgehogs (Erinaceomorpha). What they have in common is that they do not exceed a certain body weight. Depending on the author, the upper limit varies between 120 g and 2 kg and is usually 1 kg.

Why do we need to collect data?

Information on the regional distribution of small mammals is unfortunately rare. Every discovery and every observation is therefore important and contributes to a better understanding of the animals and their habitat. Moreover, small mammals can only be involved in species protection projects when their distribution is known. However, targeted detection is usually very time-consuming. Discovery reports therefore serve as good hints to pay more attention to certain small mammals.

Where can small mammals be found most likely?

1. caught by house cats

2. on paths and roads

3. in fields, especially after mowing

4. in the garden, for example near bird houses

5. in huts and barns

What information is required?

1. place of discovery

2. date

3. type of detection

4. habitat

5. photographic documentation (optional)

How are the discovery reports evaluated?

Reports with photos are very valuable. For example, garden dormice, edible dormouse, forest dormice, hazel dormice, striped field mouse or moles can be identified safely and reasonably when they are photographed. Species that can only be clearly identified using biometric measurements and observations without evidence are only used to a limited extent in purely scientific publications. But here too, reports of findings are important, as they provide valuable information on the distribution of the species, facilitating research and protection.

What happens to the collected data?

For reasons of data protection, the data points are displayed in a freely accessible map with limited resolution. The data are stored in the database "GeoMaus", where they are available for different species conservation projects.

Tagged under
  • animals
Read 75 times| Last modified on Tuesday, 11 August 2020 09:29

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