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Annual and seasonal variation of survival rates in the garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus)

Summary: Annual and seasonal variation of survival rates in the garden
dormouse (Eliomys quercinus)
Michael Schaub1
* and Christian Vaterlaus-Schlegel2
Swiss Ornithological Institute, CH-6204 Sempach, Switzerland
Institut fuČr Pathologie, UniversitaČt Basel, SchoČnbeinstr. 40 CH-4003 Basel, Switzerland
(Accepted 7 November 2000)
Annual local survival of the garden dormouse Elyomis quercinus, a small, hibernating rodent, was studied
by Cormack±Jolly±Seber models. The survival rates differed signi®cantly between the 4 years of the study;
the average rate was 0.38 (95% con®dence interval: 0.25±0.52). Survival rates were not signi®cantly
different between sexes. Because all garden dormice were captured after weaning, pre-weaning survival
could not be estimated. After weaning, the annual survival rates did not differ between age cohorts. In
order to ®nd out which phases within the annual cycle were more prone to mortality, survival was studied
on a bimonthly scale as well. Survival during hibernation was estimated to be close to unity, while survival
during the active phase of life in summer was considerably lower. The winter temperatures of the study
years were similar to the long-year average; thus garden dormice were well adapted to these average
conditions. Although hibernation is energetically challenging, it is not necessarily accompanied by


Source: Amrhein, Valentin - Zoologisches Institut, Universität Basel
Richner, Heinz - Zoologischen Institut, Universität Bern


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology