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No evidence for seasonal litter size variation in a Mediterranean garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus Linnaeus 1766) population
The garden dormouse (Eliomys quercinus) breeding season in Mediterranean regions is longer than in northerly parts of its distribution range. In this study, the yearly pattern of births and the variation of litter sizes in different seasons are described for a garden dormouse population of a Mediterranean orange plantation in Eastern Spain whose reproduction lasts all year. Data were obtained mainly by inspecting nest boxes, blackbird nests and the nests dormice built themselves. Two maxima were found in the breeding season, which coincided with the second fortnight of both January and March. The number of births was lower in the second half of the year. The number of cubs per litter ranged from three to ten and the mean (5.4) was larger than in Central Europe. No significant trend for seasonal variation in litter size was found.
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