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Mortality factors of the common hamsterCricetus cricetus at two sites in Germany

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Abstract

The mortality of the common hamsterCricetus cricetus (Linnaeus, 1758) was analysed in two regions of Germany. Samples of radio tagged individuals and carcasses found in the field during monitoring procedures were compared. Predation and winter mortality were the main mortality factors, followed by disease and death caused by agricultural machinery during the harvest or other management measures. The causes of mortality differed in the two regions, due to different environmental and ecological parameters, including field size, crops, presence of predators, and agricultural management. The main mortality factors were all directly or indirectly linked to agriculture. Present agricultural management exacerbates predation and increases winter mortality in this species. Crops with a prolonged vegetation cover and food supply are crucial for the survival of common hamsters on farmland with intense agricultural management.

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KAyser, A., Weinhold, U. & Stubbe, M. Mortality factors of the common hamsterCricetus cricetus at two sites in Germany. Acta Theriol 48, 47–57 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03194265

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Key words

  • Cricetus cricetus
  • mortality factors
  • radiotelemetry
  • carcasses
  • agricultural
  • management