Mouse-tailed Dormouse

Myomimus roachi (Bate, 1937)

Myomimus personatus Ognev, 1924: Peshev et al., 1960: 305-313; Miomymus bulgaricus: Rossolimo, 1976: 1520-1524; Eliomys quercinus L.: Heinrich, 1936: 43.

Order Rodentia

Family Gliridae

Conservation status: in Bulgaria: Vulnerable VU [D2], BDA-II, III; International: IUCN(2004)-VU/D2, BeC-II, HD-IV.

General distribution. Southeastern Bulgaria, Turkish Thracia, the Mediterranean coast of Asia Minor.

Distribution and abundance in Bulgaria. The low parts of Southeastern Bulgaria [3]. The numbers are unknown.

Habitats. Open spaces, non-arable lands or the environs of oats, wheat and maize fields, almond gardens, deserted vineyards. In similar habitats it has been registered also in Turkish Thrace [1]. It avoids the forests.

Biology. It digs holes at a depth of about 10 - 20 cm; the tunnels have several exits; in the bottom is a nesting chamber with a nest, built from dry grass. Its activity is on the ground, but just like many other rodents it climbs well: in Turkish Thrace most individuals were caught on trees [1]. It is mainly active during the night. It spends the winter hibernating, in holes under the ground, from the second half of November to the first half of April. It has one generation per year. Copulation is probably at the end of April and the first half of May. They give birth in the second half of May and the beginning of June. The number of young per young female is 5 6, and in adults probably more. The females become sexually mature after the first wintering [2].

Negative factors. The species is well adapted to agricultural landscapes. In Bulgaria it is found in regions with a predominant traditional agriculture whose intensity in recent years decreased. Thus it is not directly threatened by the trends in agriculture, but the northwestern habitats are in an industrially degraded area. The enormous infrastructure facilities, the open mines and the thick road network etc. in the Stara Zagora Radnevo Maritsa Iztok region have undoubtedly destroyed some of the localities of the species.

Conservation measures taken. It is included in: the Red Data Book of Bulgaria (1985), category rare); the Biological Diversity Act, Annexes 2 and 3; the Berne Convention, Annexes II and III; Directive 92/43/EEC, Annex 4; the Red List of IUCN, category vulnerable.

Conservation measures needed. Specification of its distribution, characteristics of the habitats. Creation of agro-reserves with traditional agriculture.

References. 1. Kurtonur & Ozkan, 1991; 2. Buruldag & Kurtonur, 2001; 3. Miltschev, B., Z. Boev & V. Georgiev. 2004.

Author: Vasil Popov

Mouse-tailed Dormouse (distribution map)

Mouse-tailed Dormouse (drawing)