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CR 78:205-209 (2019)  -  DOI:

Effect of rainfall on nocturnal activity of the Japanese dormouse

Kei K. Suzuki1,2,*, Motokazu Ando1,3

1Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 1737 Funako, Atsugi, Kanagawa 243-0034, Japan
2Kyushu Research Center, Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, Kurokami 4-11-16, Kumamoto 860-0862, Japan
3Present address: Yamazaki University of Animal Health Technologies, 4-7-2 Minami-Osawa, Hachioji, Tokyo 192-0364, Japan
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The response of small rodents to rainfall is largely species-specific. There is a need to widely survey the effects of rainfall among varied rodent species, particularly arboreal rodents to accurately understand their response to rainfall. Therefore, in this study, we examined changes in the activity patterns of Japanese dormice Glirulus japonicus in relation to rainfall. We undertook extensive camera trapping for 2 yr to collect data on dormouse activity. During all 63 camera-trap detections (i.e. 24 on rainy nights and 39 on nights without rain) using cameras set at 214 sites, dormice demonstrated perfect nocturnality. Dormice were active throughout the nights when there was no rain; however, on rainy nights, their activity tended to be limited to close to sunset. Our results provide important evidence that rainfall limits the activity of Japanese dormice. In Japan, precipitation has increased with recent climate change; thus an increase in precipitation in the future could increasingly limit the periods of activity of the Japanese dormouse.

KEY WORDS: Activity pattern · Precipitation · Climate change · Mammal · Camera trapping

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Cite this article as: Suzuki KK, Ando M (2019) Effect of rainfall on nocturnal activity of the Japanese dormouse. Clim Res 78:205-209.

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