A Review on the Edible dormouse reproduction (Glis glis Linnaeus, 1766)


  • Victoria A. Vekhnik Samara Federal Research Scientific Center RAS, Institute of Ecology of the Volga River Basin of RAS, 445003, Komzina str., house 10, Togliatti, Samara Oblast, Russia
  • Thomas Ruf Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Department of Interdisciplinary Life Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria, Savoyenstrasse 1, A-1160 Vienna, Austria https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9235-7079
  • Claudia Bieber Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology, Department of Interdisciplinary Life Sciences, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria, Savoyenstrasse 1, A-1160 Vienna, Austria https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8919-3117




Cost of reproduction, estrous cycle, Glis glis, male reproductive activity, reproductive failure


The reproduction of the edible dormouse has a unique pattern. A characteristic feature of its reproductive ecology is the regular occurrence of reproductive failure years. This has been observed throughout the entire distribution range. Reproduction failure has different nature in eastern and western parts of the distributional range, depending on the tree stand composition. In the central and western parts of the area, the whole population and thus males and females do not invest in reproduction, if the yielding of broad-leaved tree species, mainly beech, is missing. During the years of beech mast failures, already most males remain reproductively inactive. The gonads remain in a prepuberty state, which is a typical pattern during hibernation in this species. In the eastern parts of the distribution area, reproductive success is determined mainly by females. The main factor is the appearance of oak sets, when the vast majority of female dormice are usually already pregnant. In years of reproductive failure, mating and pregnancy are observed. However, due to damage of the seed ripening the resorption of all embryos can be observed in dormice. In reproductive years, the litter size varies within wide limits (1-11). Several females can rear their offspring together, most likely the mothers are related. The periodicity of reproduction stages depends on the duration of the active period in different regions, sometimes showing a shift of up to two months. Costs of reproduction are revealed for males during and even before the mating period.


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How to Cite

Vekhnik, V. A., Ruf, T., & Bieber, C. (2022). A Review on the Edible dormouse reproduction (Glis glis Linnaeus, 1766). Journal of Wildlife and Biodiversity, 6(Special issue), 24–45. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7338112



Gliridae Ecology and Conservation