Edible or Fatty dormouse

Myolux Glis / Glis Glis

Loir gris

The Loir is the largest of the European Dormice

with fur that is grey or grey / brown with white fur underneath, a grey bushy tail, large ears with eyes that are round and dark in colour. Their overall length is 25cm to 34cm with body and tail being of approximately equal length.

Found in most of France except the Atlantic coastal regions and Brittany where they occupy a wide range of habitats, forests, copses, hedgerows, parks, orchards and buildings. They are excellent climbers with a potential territorial range of about 4 square kilometres although in practice they usually remain within about 200 metres of their nest site.

Mainly nocturnal with a diet consisting mostly of seeds, fruits, nuts and grains although they will also eat insects and fungi and there is some suggestion that bird eggs may be occasionally taken.

Their nest is usually oval, about 15cm in diameter

 and constructed from coarse vegetation with an entrance in the side, its lining is made from softer material, fur, feathers, moss and grass. It’s often made in a hollow tree, cavities in rock faces, stone walls, old squirrels nests or even lodged in the branches of trees. The same nest can be occupied by several individuals and it’s possible to find 50 or more in the same building. Reproduction is from June until August when, after a gestation period of about a month, they give birth to between 2 and 9 young.  
Baby Loirs in France

They have true hibernation 

which, depending on region and temperature, is from October until April. They will loose half their body weight during this time which requires the build up of plenty of body fat in preparation; it is also when they are most vulnerable to predation with anything up to 80% being taken over winter. During hibernation body temperature can drop to 3.7° C and it takes them 30 minutes or more to wake up. Although maximum life span is 7 years this is rarely reached, 2 or 3 years being more usual due to the high rate of predation
Loir edible dormouse excrement France

They can be the cause of great concern

due to the stories about them eating through the electrical and other cables although it's unclear if that is the case when cabling is properly installed. They can also be very noisy vocally and when chasing each other around as well as playing with walnuts when they are available.

English language users

in France should not confuse either the Loir or the Lérot with the Hazel dormouse Muscardinus Avellanarius (Muscardin) which is the only Gliridae (or Dormouse) that has full protection status in France.