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Recognising a garden dormouse

You have heard it rustling in your garden? Or do peculiar animals call in the shrubs on warm summer nights? Or do you ever observed a dormouse? Maybe it was a garden dormouse?

Please note: Garden dormice are wild animals. They cannot and must not be domesticated or even kept as pets. They remain wild and extremely defensive, even when hand-raised.

External characteristics
  • Noticeable black mask through the eyes (“Zorro mask”)

  • Hairy tail with long-haired tail tip

  • Reddish-brown-grey coloured fur, flanks and underparts white  

Photo © Jiri Bodahl


During the mating season, the garden dormouse males can get quite loud. Their squeaks, whistles and marbles can be heard all night long.

Favourite places
Garden dormouse in a nesting box (© Rudi Leitl)

Garden dormice sleep in a self-made spherical nest most of the year.

Since garden dormice are nocturnal, they spend the day in hidden sleeping places. They like to use tree holes, sheltered burrows or crevices, also abandoned bird-nests and nest boxes.

Discover a garden dormouse: Join us!

In order to investigate the garden dormouse occurrence in Germany as complete as possible, we are dependent on voluntary support. Are you interested in joining in our project with scientific methods?

Please do not hesitate to contact us now:

Andrea Andersen
BUND Volunteer Management
anda.andersen (at) bund.net