Romanian Hamster Mesocricetus newtoni


Roach’s Mouse-tailed Dormouse (Myomimus roachi). Photo Nedko Nedyalkov.

In September 2020 I spent a happy week with my son, Patrick and Bulgarian mammalogist Nedko Nedyalkov looking for small mammals around Bulgaria. Patrick and I returned for 3 days in September 2022.


Miller’s Water Shrew (Neomys milleri)

Overnight on Vitosha Mountain south of Sofia in 2020 we caught a couple of European Snow Voles,  several Bank Voles and a Miller’s Water Shrew and saw a Red Squirrel.

European Snow Vole (Chionomys syriacus)


Mound-building Mouse (Mus spicilegus)

We failed to find Romanian Hamsters during two nights at Pleven in 2020. But we did see European Souslik, and capture Mound-building Mice and a Striped Field Mouse. While an hour with a thermal scope produced a Wood Mouse and Golden Jackals.

Romanian Hamster, Mesocricetus newtoni

We returned in September 2022 and caught several Guldenstadt’s White-toothed Shrews, Yellow-necked and Wood Mice all in traps, and saw a Brown Hare. Nedko captured a Romanian Hamster by hand with the help of my thermal scope.



Harting’s Vole colony

We were unable to see Harting’s Voles or Martino’s Mole here in 2020, though they are quite common. But while looking we found European Souslik, a Weasel and a Northern White-breasted Hedgehog


Roach’s Mouse-tailed Dormouse (Myomimus roachi)

Checking nestboxes in 2020 with Nedko produced Edible Dormouse, Forest Dormouse and the very rare Roach’s Mouse-tailed Dormouse as well as Yellow-necked and Wood Mice.

Forest Dormouse (Dryomys nitedula)

Nearby we caught a Guldenstaadt’s (formerly Lesser) White-toothed Shrew, and an East European Vole  (Microtus rossiaemeridionalis).

Guldenstadt’s White-toothed Shrew (Crocidura gueldenstaedtii)


Western Broad-toothed Field Mouse (Apodemus epimelas). Photo Nedko Nedyalkov.

Western Broad-toothed Field Mice were easy to catch in the rocky habitat around Kresna in 2020. We also had several Yellow-necked and Wood Mice.


European Pine Vole, Microtus subterraneus

In September 2022 a night trapping on a mountain near Gabrovo produced several European Pine Voles and a Miller’s Water Shrew.

Patrick and a Forest Dormouse, 2020

Community Reports

Bulgaria, 2023: Mark Hows, 6 days & 13 species including Bicolouted White-toothed Shrew, Wild Cat and Roach’s Mouse-tailed Dormouse.

Romanian Hamsters Revisited, September 2022: Jon Hall, 3 nights and 9 species including Romanian Hamster and European Pine Vole.

Small Mammaling, September 2020: Jon Hall, 6 nights & 20 species including Mouse-tailed Dormouse, European Snow Vole, Western Broad-toothed Field Mouse and Miller’s Watershrew.

The Balkans, 2016 (and some flashbacks to the early 1990s): Vladimir Dinets, 6 weeks and 100+ mammals including Martino’s Snow Vole, Romanian Hamster, Western Broad-toothed Mouse, Bicoloured and Etruscan Shrews, a Mediterranean Monk Seal and European Polecat.

Bulgaria & Romania, 2016: Romain Bocquier, 3 weeks & 16 species including Edible DormousePine MartenBrown Bear and European Free-tailed Bat.

Bulgaria, 2015: Mike Richardson, 1 week & 13 species including Eastern Hedgehog, European Wildcat, Beech Marten and Balkan Short-tailed Mouse.

South West Bulgaria, 2015: Richard Webb’s notes of a few days, mainly birding. Mammals included a Beech Marten and a Badger. Useful logistical information for trip planning.

Also See

Please email me if you have tips for mammal watching in this area.

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