Every third year since 1990 an International Dormouse Conference has been held. Scientists from different biology branches regularly meet for this exchange of new research results. This is an event that for most of the participants is regarded as a dormouse family meeting which gathers colleagues from many countries around the world. For a detailed review of the history of the International Dormouse Conferences see the Preface, by Pat A. Morris, in the Proceedings of the 8th International Dormouse Conference, Peckiana vol. 8, 2012. 276pp. The 9th International Dormouse Conference was held in September 2014 at the Natural History Museum NATURAMA in Svendborg. Why choose Denmark for an International Dormouse Conference? Denmark is situated at the northern border of the dormouse family's (Gliridae) distribution. The only resident dormouse species, the hazel dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius) most likely arrived at this northern frontier some 11000 years ago along with the deciduous forest, which for several thousand years covered Denmark until agriculture arrived 5000 years later. Despite a record low forest cover in 1800 (approximately 4 %) the Danish hazel dormouse population succeeded in keeping a foothold in this intensively farmed land. The status of the Danish population of hazel dormouse is endangered on the national Red List. Situated in the central area of the Danish hazel dormouse distribution it was highly appropriate for NATURAMA to house The 9th International Dormouse conference and to have all the delegates visit the fauna bridge just north of Svendborg, a bridge that has been subject to intense debate about its value to the local wild life.
The 9th International Dormouse Conference was attended by 82 participants from 16 countries. Forty three oral presentations were given during three days of presentations and an additional 15 posters were presented during the poster session. All in all, this represented an incredible amount of new insights and knowledge on the world of dormice. The book of abstract can be ordered as a PDF file by sending an e-mail to the conference secretariat firstname.lastname@example.org. By the end of the conference it was agreed to arrange two outputs (in addition to the book of abstracts) from the conference. We split the output into two categories, those for the international peer-reviewed journal, Folia Zoologica, and those for the Conference Proceedings. Eleven papers have been accepted for the present special volume of Folia Zoologica which I am happy to present here. This special volume covers a valuable review paper on northerly dormouse populations, papers on habitats, dispersal, threats, field methods, phylogeography and analytical tools.
On behalf of the 9th International Dormouse Conference Scientific Committee:
Pat Morris (England), Rimvydas Juškaitis (Lithuania), Boris Kryštufek (Slovenia), Sven Büchner (Germany), Peter Sunde (Denmark), Morten Elmeros (Denmark), Hans Baagøe (Denmark) and Thomas Bjørneboe Berg (Denmark) we thank all the anonymous referees who made highly relevant and valuable contributions to this special volume.