Acta Theriologica

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 47–57 | Cite as

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

  • Anja KAyser
  • Ulrich Weinhold
  • Michael Stubbe


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.

Key words

Cricetus cricetus mortality factors radiotelemetry carcasses agricultural management 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adam J. and Enke H. 1972. Analyse mehrdimensionaler Kontingenztafeln mit Hilfe des Informationsmabes von Kullback. Biometrische Zeitschrift 14 (5): 305–323.Google Scholar
  2. Backbier L. A. M., Gubbels E. J., Seluga K., Weidling A., Weinhold U. and Zimmermann W. 1998. Der FeldhamsterCricetus cricetus (L., 1758), eine stark gefährdete Tierart. Internationale Arbeitsgruppe Feldhamster & Stichting Hamsterwerkgroep Limburg, Margraten: 1–32.Google Scholar
  3. Górecki A. 1977. Consumption by and agricultural impact of the common hamster,Cricetus cricetus (L.), on cultivated fields. EPPO Bulletin 7: 423–429.Google Scholar
  4. Grulich I. 1980. Populationsdichte des Hamsters (Cricetus cricetus, Mamm.). Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Academiae Scientiarum Bohemoslovacae Brno 14(6): 1–44.Google Scholar
  5. Grulich I. 1986. The reproduction ofCricetus cricetus (Rodentia) in Czechoslovakia. Acta Scientiarum Naturalium Academiae Scientiarum Bohemoslovacae Brno 20(5–6): 1–56.Google Scholar
  6. Johannesen E., Andreassen H. P. and Steen H. 1997. Effect of radiocollars on survival of root voles. Journal of Mammalogy 78: 638–642.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kayser A., Voigt F. and Stubbe M. 2001. First results on the concentrations of some persistent organochlorines in the common hamsterCricetus cricetus (L.) in Saxony-Anhalt. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 67: 712–720.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Kayser A. and Stubbe M. 2000. Colour variation in the common hamsterCricetus cricetus in the north-eastern foot-hills of the Harz Mountains. Acta Theriologica 45: 377–383.Google Scholar
  9. Kullback S. 1959. Information theory and statistics. Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Leuze C. C. K. 1980. The appplication of radiotracking and its effect on the behavioral ecology of the water vole,Arvicola terrestris. [In: A handbook on biotelemetry and radio tracking. C. J. Amlaner and D. W. Macdonald, eds]. Pergamon Press, Oxford: 361–366.Google Scholar
  11. Macdonald D. W., Mace G. M. and Barretto G. R. 1999. The effects of predators on fragmented prey populations: a case study for the conservation of endangered prey. Journal of Zoology, London 247: 487–506.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Millesi E., Strijkstra A. M., Hoffmann I. E., Dittamil J. P. and Daan S. 1999. Sex and age differences in mass, morphology, and annual cycle in European ground squirrels,Spermophilus citellus. Journal of Mammalogy 89: 218–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nechay G., Hamar M. and Grulich I. 1977. The common hamster (Cricetus cricetus [L.]: a review. EPPO Bulletin 7: 255–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Nowak E., Heidecke D. and Blab J. 1994. Rote Liste und Artenverzeichnis der in Deutschland vorkommenden Säugetiere (Mammalia). [In: Rote Liste der gefährdeten Wirbeltiere in Deutschland. E. Nowak, J. Blab and R. Bless, eds.] Schriftenreihe für Landschaftspflege und Naturschutz 42, Bonn-Bad Godesberg: 27–59.Google Scholar
  15. Smit C. J. and van Wijngaarden A. 1981. Threatened mammals in Europe. Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, Wiesbaden: 1–259.Google Scholar
  16. Smith H. R. 1980. Growth, reproduction and survival inPeromyscus leucopus carrying intraperitoneally implanted transmitters. [In: A handbook on biotelemetry and radio tracking. C. J. Amlaner and D. W. Macdonald, eds]. Pergamon Press, Oxford: 367–374.Google Scholar
  17. Stubbe M. 1991. Der Hakel als bedeutendes Vogelschutzgebiet in Europa. Berichte Deutsche Sektion Internationaler Rat für Vogelschutz 30: 93–105.Google Scholar
  18. Stubbe M., Seluga K. and Weidling A. 1997. Bestandssituation und Ökologie des FeldhamstersCricetus cricetus (L., 1758). Tiere im Konflikt 5: 5–60.Google Scholar
  19. Sulzer F. G. 1774. Versuch einer Naturgeschichte des Hamsters. Göttingen, Gotha reprint by H. Petzsch, Verlag Naturkunde, Hannover, Berlin-Zehlendorf 1949: 1–200.Google Scholar
  20. Uthleb H., Stubbe M., Heidecke D. and Ansorge H. 1992. Zur Populationsstruktur des FischottersLutra lutra (L. 1758) im östlichen Deutschland. [In: Semiaquatische Säugetiere. R. Schröpfer, M. Stubbe and D. Heidecke, eds]. University Press Halle, Halle: 393–400.Google Scholar
  21. Webster A. B. and Brooks R. J. 1980. Effects of radiotransmitters on the meadow vole,Microtus pennsylvanicus. Canadian Journal of Zoology 58: 997–1001.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Warnstorff K. and Dörfel H. 1998. Ein Programm zur Kontingenztafel- und Kontrastanalyze. Zeitschrift für Agrarinformatik 2: 38–42.Google Scholar
  23. Weidling A. 1997. Zur Raumnutzung beim Feldhamster im Nordharzvorland. Säugetierkundliche Informationen 21: 265–273.Google Scholar
  24. Weidling A. and Stubbe M. 1997. Fang-Wiederfang-Studie am FeldhamsterCricetus cricetus L. Säugetierkundliche Informationen 21: 299–308.Google Scholar
  25. Weidling A. and Stubbe M. 1998. Zur aktuellen Verbreitung des Feldhamsters (Cricetus cricetus L.) in Deutschland. [In: Ökologie und Schutz des Feldhamsters. M. Stubbe and A. Stubbe, eds]. University Press Halle, Halle: 183–186.Google Scholar
  26. Weinhold U. 1996. Zur Erfassung des Feldhamsters (Cricetus cricetus) im Raum Mannheim-Heidelberg. Schriftenreihe für Landschaftspflege und Naturschutz 46 (Säugetiere in der Landschaftsplanung), Bonn-Bad Godesberg: 105–110.Google Scholar
  27. Weinhold U. 1998a. Bau- und Individuendichte des Feldhamsters (Cricetus cricetus L., 1758) auf intensiv genutzten landwirtschaftlichen Flächen in Nordbaden. [In: Ökologie und Schutz des Feldhamsters. M. Stubbe and A. Stubbe, eds]. University Press Halle, Halle: 277–288.Google Scholar
  28. Weinhold U. 1998b. Zur Verbreitung und Ökologie des Feldhamsters (Cricetus cricetus L. 1758) in Baden-Württemberg, unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der räumlichen Organisation auf intensiv genutzten landwirtschaftlichen Flächen im Raum Mannheim-Heidelberg. PhD thesis, Ruprecht--Karls-University, Heidelberg: 1–130+22.Google Scholar
  29. Wendt W. 1989. FeldhamsterCricetus cricetus (L.). [In: Buch der Hege. Band 1. Haarwild. H. Stubbe, ed]. Deutscher Landwirtschaftsverlag, Berlin: 667-684Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mammal Research Institute, Bialowieza, Poland 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anja KAyser
    • 1
  • Ulrich Weinhold
    • 2
  • Michael Stubbe
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ZoologyMartin-Luther-University Halle-WittenbergHalle (Saale)Germany
  2. 2.Institute of ZoologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

Personalised recommendations