Stav poznania rozšírenia sysľa pasienkového (Spermophilus citellus) na Slovensku v rokoch 1996 až 2008 [Current knowledge on the distribution of the European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) in Slovakia in 1996–2008]
The paper summarises current knowledge on the distribution of the European ground squirrel in Slovakia gained by mapping of the species since 1996. We used literature data as well as unpublished information from other scientific projects (for example epidemiological) to map and detect the present state of the population. Between 1996 and 2008 we recorded the ground squirrel at 120 localities in the country. Visits of localities with ground squirrel occurrence listed in older literature showed that majority of them (87%) had been altered and the species did not occur there anymore. Other localities where we did register ground squirrels were in different succession stages as a consequence of changes in farming practices or land use and extinction of these local populations could (or still can) be expected within 3 or 4 years. On the basis of literature data we reconstructed the distribution of the ground squirrel in Slovakia till 1970 and from 1971 to 1995. Comparing the data with the results of our mapping, it can be concluded that the species’ range in Slovakia has lost its continuous pattern since 1950 and has become fragmented into several more or less separated segments. Continuous mapping with the application of monitoring elements to further observation of ground squirrel population shows progressing isolation of the existing colonies with continuing atomization of the species’ range in Slovakia. The situation gradually gets into a state when immediate action is needed to preserve the European ground squirrel in the country.