It was farmed and eaten by the ancient Romans (usually as a snack), whence the word edible in its name. The dormice were kept and raised either in large pits or (in less spacious urban surroundings) in terra cotta containers, the gliraria, something like contemporary hamster cages.
To this day, wild edible dormice are consumed in Slovenia, where they are considered a rare delicacy and dormouse trapping an ethnic tradition. Use of dormice for food and fur and of dormouse fat as a medicament is documented there since the 13th century. Seasonal dormice feasts were welcome protein supplements for the impoverished peasantry.
The edible dormouse lives in continental Europe. It was accidentally introduced to the town of Tring in England through an escape from Lionel Walter Rothschild's private collection in 1902. As a result, the British edible dormouse population, now 10,000 strong, is concentrated in a 200-square-mile (520 km2) triangle between Beaconsfield, Aylesbury and Luton. Though this animal is regarded as a pest by some, in the United Kingdom the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 prohibits certain methods of killing and taking it, and removing them may require a licence.
- ^ E. Saglio, "Glirarium". In Daremberg and Saglio, Dictionnaire des Antiquités Grecques et Romaines, Tome II (Volume 2), page 1613, Librairie Hachette et Cie., Paris, 1877–1919.
- ^ Haberl, Werner. "Dormouse Hunting in Slovenian Tradition." Dormouse Culture, Tradition & Myths. 2007. 3 October 2007
- ^ a b "Invasion of the glis glis". Daily Mail. 2006-10-23. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=406658&in_page_id=1770. Retrieved 2008-03-29.
- ^ a b "Edible Dormice (Glis glis)". Natural England. 2008-11-11. http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/regulation/wildlife/species/edibledormice.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-02.
- ^ "The Glis Glis Around Amersham." Amersham - News, Views and Information. 3 October 2007