EUROPEAN SOUSLIK PDF

European sousliks inhabit open landscapes. They prefer to live in prairies and steppes, rocky country, open woodlands, abandoned farms, and desert mountain ranges Nowak, They avoid wet areas, the banks of permanent waters, or any type of wet areas created by accumulated water. Parker,

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Find Out. People in Panagyurishte - a town of 16, inhabitants in Central Bulgaria - have been waiting for a reliable water supply into their homes for years. As construction of the Luda Yana dam began in the fall of , it looked like they would finally get their wish. The dam, one of three being completed under the World Bank-supported Municipal Infrastructure Development Project, promises to provide a reliable source of water to the residents of the town — a key priority spelled out by the government's Strategy for Water Supply and Sewerage Management and Development plan.

As it turns out, the residents of Panagyurishte were not the only ones whose lives were about to change as a result of this construction. In the spring of , an unexpected twist in project implementation occurred when it was discovered that the project site was also home to a number of European ground squirrels — an animal listed as "Vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN in its Red List of Threatened Species.

The European ground squirrel known also as a European souslik is a colonial animal that is known to dig extensive tunnel systems. These cute animals are found in southern Ukraine, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and north - as far as Poland — where it was reintroduced in after going extinct. A special team of scientists from the Bulgarian academy of science was hired to figure out how to simultaneously provide Panagyurishte with water without harming the endangered European ground squirrels.

The first task was to identify a new location. The ground squirrel requires a fairly specific habitat, so an existing site where another colony of European ground squirrels already resided was identified, some 12 kilometers away from their original home.

Then, the scientists started drilling new homes - more than 90 burrows were created and filled in with seeds, grass, and carrots. The new homes were thoughtfully planned to accommodate the habits of the animals. The scientists built two types of homes — "condos" — several halls next to each other to accommodate several sousliks, and single family homes — a single burrow for one animal.

Finally, the relocation process started. Special traps were set in front of the tunnels at the project site. Once trapped, the squirrels were transferred to their new homes. But not everything went smoothly. Temperatures dropped and heavy rains flooded the new homes. One morning the scientists found 5 animals almost frozen in their new homes. Emergency care included transportation for the animals to alaboratory in Sofia, where they were provided care — warmth and food for two weeks.

While one young souslik did not make it, the remaining 4 recovered quickly and were transported back to their new homes. According to Sirma Zidarova, a PhD zoologist and the head of the team of scientists, the relocation of the European souslik was a great success. Now she is busy telling the story of the adventures of the European ground squirrels to people of Panagyurishte, while the construction workers move ahead with their regular schedule.

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European ground squirrel

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Every Life Matters: Resettling European Ground Squirrels in Bulgaria

Find Out. People in Panagyurishte - a town of 16, inhabitants in Central Bulgaria - have been waiting for a reliable water supply into their homes for years. As construction of the Luda Yana dam began in the fall of , it looked like they would finally get their wish. The dam, one of three being completed under the World Bank-supported Municipal Infrastructure Development Project, promises to provide a reliable source of water to the residents of the town — a key priority spelled out by the government's Strategy for Water Supply and Sewerage Management and Development plan. As it turns out, the residents of Panagyurishte were not the only ones whose lives were about to change as a result of this construction. In the spring of , an unexpected twist in project implementation occurred when it was discovered that the project site was also home to a number of European ground squirrels — an animal listed as "Vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature IUCN in its Red List of Threatened Species. The European ground squirrel known also as a European souslik is a colonial animal that is known to dig extensive tunnel systems.

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The European ground squirrel Spermophilus citellus , also known as the European souslik , is a species from the squirrel family, Sciuridae. Like all squirrels, it is a member of the rodent order. It is a diurnal animal, living in colonies of individual burrows in pastures or grassy embankments. The squirrels emerge during the day to feed upon seeds , plant shoots and roots or flightless invertebrates. The colonies maintain sentinels who whistle at the sight of a predator, bringing the pack scurrying back to safety. Breeding takes place in early summer when a single litter of five to eight young is borne. The European ground squirrel hibernates between autumn and March, the length of time depending on the climate.

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