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Evaluation of Muscardinus avellanarius population density by nest box and by trap checking
Population densities of marked common dormice Muscardinus avellanarius are generally based on nest box checks. As dormice also use natural cavities and leaf nests, we tried to answer the question "what proportion of the population cannot be monitored by nest boy checks", using parallel trapping sessions. We selected a forest of 1.7ha where a 5-year nest box survey revealed an annual mean of 3.4 ± 1.4 dormice per check. The trap design (permanent grid of 77 hanging platforms) was developed in June. During July and August the traps were set every second week (4 sessions of two nights = 8 nights) resulting in a total of 75 captures with mean of 9.4 dormice per night and the presence of 16 different individuals. The grid of 60 nest boxes was checked weekly (8 times) which allowed the recapture of 19 dormice with a mean of 2.4 dormice, per control day and the presence of 6 different individuals. Population density estimated by calendar of capture and the minimal number of dormice alive methods gave for nest-box checks a value of 2.4 animals/ha and the trap checks 6.6 animals/ha with the conclusion that 63% of the population were not being monitored by nest box checks.
Common dormouse, population size, trapping device
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