Garden Dormouse

Eliomys quercinusDormice are small animals combining features of mice (the front body parts) and squirrels (brushy tail with a tuft on the tip). These animals are good climbers and deft runners. They hibernate through the winter, hence the name – an etymological combination of sleepy and mouse. The dormice are nocturnal. They feed on seeds of trees and bushes, nuts, berries, insects and small vertebrates. The ancestral home of dormice is the southern broad-leaved woods – this is why they are most frequent in the mixed and deciduous forests of the southern districts of Kunya, Usvyaty, Nevel’, Sebezh etc.

There are three species of dormice in the region. The garden dormouse is the biggest (body length up to 15 cm, and tail up to 12). It dwells in the northern districts of Pskov and Gdov. The edible dormouse and the smallest of all – hazel dormouse – are inhabitants of southern districts. All dormice are scarce and rare.

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