In , our only Souslik was joined by a pair from Edinburgh Zoo. After hibernation, in spring , we were saw the first litter born. Learn more about the European ground squirrel – with amazing European ground squirrel videos, photos and facts on Arkive. Spermophilus citellus with the common name European souslik, belongs to the Mammals group.

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It finds this on the steppes and in pasture, in dry banks, on sports fields, parks and lawns. The European ground squirrel belongs to a genus commonly referred to as the sousliks, with representatives spread throughout the northern hemisphere from California to China 3. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. As a consequence of the rapid loss of suitable habitat, the population is becoming severely fragmented, whilst its range is retracting, particularly in the west 1.

Males are slightly larger than females otherwise they look alike. Second group of critical threats also has an impact on habitat availability for S.

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Share on Facebook Tweet Send email. The European ground squirrel hibernates between autumn and March, the length of time depending on the climate.

Inthis species was reintroduced successfully to Poland and a project has recently been initiated to reintroduce it into Germany. Order Rodentia Family Sciuridae Conservation status: Share this image — Hide sharing options. This includes a range of natural and artificial habitats such as steppe grassland, pasture, vineyards, sports fields and golf courses 1. The planning of the Natura network of protected territories is adapted to the current state of the species.

At other souwlik in the home range it digs unbranched bolt holes in which to hide if danger threatens. It is a diurnal animal, living in colonies of individual burrows in pastures or grassy embankments.

One of the main priorities of conservation efforts is to conduct further studies into the ecology, threats and population biology of the European ground squirrel. They are naked and blind and their eyes open at about 4 weeks old. It forms within-populational local groupings “colonies”occupying an area of ha, in rare cases ha, within which the separate animals inhabit overlapping individual areas and maintain a system of nesting and shelter holes [2, 3, 4].


It does not settle in arable areas, although it enters them for feeding [2]. Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. In common with all ground-dwelling squirrels, it is mostly active during the hours of sunlight, devoting most of its attention to foraging for food. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

The European souslik has lost a significant part of its habitat and has disappeared from many places within its former range. At the very end coincidence of these factors leads to extinction of local European souslik populations.

These conditions are lost when changes in agricultural practice convert grassland into arable land and forest, or grazing ceases and the grass grows coarse and scrubland develops. Retrieved 27 December Whilst hibernating, animals survive on stored reserves of fat that they have accumulated in summer. Why do zoos keep this animal The European souslik has lost a significant part of its habitat and has disappeared from many places within its former range. They reach sexual maturity in one year.

Tropical ground squirrel N. Monitoring is carried out at the national parks Central Balkan and Rila and in the Rhodopes.

Please donate to Arkive Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Some of the mountainous populations are within the national parks Rila and Central Balkan. The north-western part extends through Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, northern Serbia and western Romania, whilst the south-eastern part extends from eastern Serbia, Macedonia and northern Greece through Bulgaria, southern and western Romania to European Turkey, Moldova and Ukraine.

It is undoubtedly an important natural element of the steppic grassland ecosystem.

European ground squirrel – Regional historical Museum Burgas

That the European souslik is the only European representative of the genus Spermophilus? European ground squirrel threats The conversion of steppe grassland and pasture into cultivated farmland and forestry is chiefly responsible for a serious decline in the population of European ground squirrels 1 3.


After a gestation period of days, a litter of young is born. If alarmed it emits a piercing whistle and when euroean is out in the open it often sits upright and looks around for predators.

It has a head-body length of cm and a body-weight of g. The European ground squirrel could be confused with the speckled ground squirrel which occurs in Poland Lublin VoivodeshipRomania, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, but that species has dark brown fur spotted with white and a thin tail and lives in areas with coarser vegetation.

European ground squirrel

Common water-plantain Alisma plantago-aquatica. Mohave ground squirrel X. Mexican ground squirrel I. Red-veined darter Sympetrum fonscolombii. The southern and the northwestern and northern parts of the range are most seriously affected. European ground squirrel Conservation status. The young reach maturity after the following hibernation, but not all will breed in their first year 3. Blog Friday 05 October Souzlik With: The European ground squirrel has a shrill alarm call that will cause all other individuals in the vicinity to dive for cover.

It occupies an important place in ecosystems, as a nutrition resource of practically all diurnal rapacious birds and predatory mammals.

X Close Image credit. Although the European ground squirrel lives in burrows in loosely structured populations, it is not an exceptionally social or territorial species 2. European ground squirrel Spermophilus citellus. It is a mammal with diurnal activity and an obligatory true hibernant. For instance if the payments in AES require late mowing of grasslands due to focus on some bird species, this can harm some species which sousli short grass throughout the vegetation season end of May and June — like European souslik.