Speckled Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus suslicus): current distribution, population dynamics and conservation [Současné rozšíření, populační dynamika a ochrana sysla perličkového (Spermophilus suslicus)]
Ludmila E. Savinetskaya, Vladimir V. Neronov, Olga N. Shekarova
|Citation||SAVINETSKAYA, Ludmila E., NERONOV, Vladimir V. a SHEKAROVA, Olga N.. Speckled Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus suslicus): current distribution, population dynamics and conservation [Současné rozšíření, populační dynamika a ochrana sysla perličkového (Spermophilus suslicus)]. Lynx, new series. Prague: National Museum, 2008, 39(2), 317–322. ISSN 0024-7774 (print), 1804-6460 (online). Also available from: https://publikace.nm.cz/en/periodicals/lns/39-2/speckled-ground-squirrel-spermophilus-suslicus-current-distribution-population-dynamics-and-conservation-soucasne-rozsireni-populacni-dynamika-a-ochrana-sysla-perlickoveho-spermophilus-suslicus|
The speckled ground squirrel, Spermophilus suslicus (Güldenstead, 1770) was formerly a widely distributed species in eastern Europe, and it was even considered a pest species. The distribution range of the speckled ground squirrel is now fragmented, most of its settlements are small and separated from each other. This tendency is observed over most of the species’ range. At present, the speckled ground squirrel usually inhabits areas difficult to plough, hills, gullies and lows, often situated on the banks of different water management facilities. Last significant decrease of the species’ numbers occurred at the end of the 20th century. However, in recent years a slight tendency to population increase has been observed in some regions. The main causes of the decline are climatic factors – cold and little-snow winters, spring and summer droughts, or increase of humidity. Further threats are changes in land use and habitat fragmentation that, together with application of pesticides and other toxic chemicals, lead to isolation and decrease in the number of settlements. The current state of the speckled ground squirrel can be characterised as unsatisfactory and unstable. To be preserved, this species undoubtedly needs special conservation actions.