In December, protected species of the month - common dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) is currently hibernating under the thick snowdrifts.

This year we are gifted with the typical winter - cool weather and thick snowdrifts that cover the land abundantly throughout the country.  The animals, which are active in warm weather, now have gone to hibernation. At the top level of the forest soil, our protected species of the month of December - common domouse - is hibernating. It is a very small, profuse rodent, which can reach 8-9 cm in length. The animal has rusty hair, a long tail and sharp claws so that it can climb trees, shrubs and vegetation. The common dormouse is omnivorous - it eats fruit, berries, flowers, buds, as well as various small invertebrates and even bird eggs. The animal inhabits deciduous and mixed forest forests, including shrubs. It is important that the forest cover has lush and diverse vegetation providing food base. The common dormouse lives in tree hollows, often - it also inhabits artificial birdhouses.

The species is rarely and unevenly distributed in Latvia. In the world, common dormouse is found in Europe, including Asia Minor. The species is threatened by a lack of habitats and possible climate change, such as warm winters.

 

The Project “Threatened species in Latvia: improved knowledge, capacity, data and awareness” LIFE19 GIE/LV/000857 LIFE FOR SPECIES is implemented with the financial support of the LIFE Programme of the European Union and Latvian State Regional Development Agency. This publication reflects only authors’ view. Neither CINEA (European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency) nor European Commission are responsible of any use that may be made, or the information contained therein.

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