Ecology and space use in a relict population of the European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) at the north-western edge of its distribution range [Ekologie a prostorové uspořádání v reliktní populaci sysla obecného (Spermophilus citellus) na severozápadní hranici areálu jeho rozšíření]
|Citation||MATĚJŮ, Jan. Ecology and space use in a relict population of the European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) at the north-western edge of its distribution range [Ekologie a prostorové uspořádání v reliktní populaci sysla obecného (Spermophilus citellus) na severozápadní hranici areálu jeho rozšíření]. Lynx, new series. Prague: National Museum, 2008, 39(2), 263–276. DOI: https://doi.org/. ISSN 0024-7774 (print), 1804-6460 (online). Also available from: https://publikace.nm.cz/en/periodicals/lns/39-2/ecology-and-space-use-in-a-relict-population-of-the-european-ground-squirrel-spermophilus-citellus-at-the-north-western-edge-of-its-distribution-range-ekologie-a-prostorove-usporadani-v-reliktni-populaci-sysla-obecneho-spermophilus-citellus-na-severozapadni-hranici-arealu-jeho-rozsireni|
The study is focused on demography and space use in an isolated population of European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) living on the periphery of its distribution range. Data were collected during the three year period using standard mark-recapture method combined with frequent observations in a defined 2 ha area. Abundance varied from 4.0 ind./ha in spring 2004 to 17.5 inds./ha in summer 2003. Similarly, the number of burrow entrances per individual varied from 5.6 to 32.2. The sex ratio in adults varied inconsistently and in juveniles was male biased. Death loss during the hibernation was the main part of inter-year mortality rate, particularly in juveniles. Entering into hibernation occurred gradually starting with adult females immerging first, then adult males and finally juveniles. Males emerged from hibernation approximately two weeks before females. The hibernation was longest in adult females followed by adult males and shortest in juveniles of both sexes. Body mass among adults varied from 145–430 g for females and 250–520 g for males. Comparisons revealed significant differences in body mass between the sexes in both age categories (adults and juveniles). The home range size varied from 2.126 to 5.395 m2 in adult males and from 1.031 to 3.161 m2 in adult females. Home ranges overlapped both inter and intra sexes. Results seems to be consistent with data from other European ground squirrel populations, but it should be pointed out that the demographical characteristics observed are usually close to upper limiting (mortality, body mass) or lower limiting values (density, survival).