Holarctic Marmots as a factor of Biodiversity.
Rumiantsev V.Yu;, Nikol'skii A.A. & Brandler O.V. eds.,
Abstracts, 3d Conference on Marmots (Cheboksary, Russia, 25-30 August 1997),
Moscow ABF 1997, 216p.


N.A. Barmin, T.V. Silaeva

The Ogaryov' State University of Mordovia, Saransk, Russia

The greater part of Mordovia land was regarded by I.I. Sprygin as a forest-steppe zone. Fragmentary steppe communities survived only in places unfit for filling, and it is those areas that marmot species had chosen to live in. At the same time the flora and fauna of some biologically specific areas have become potentially unstable due to the antropogenic impact exerted on the landscape. This is evident from the mode of successive processes, absence of diaspore types in the next successive stages, the altered zoogenic effect upon phytocenosis. It is the steppe communities that suffer from those changes most of all. The changes that had taken place in the mosaic pattern of biotopes appear to create problems related to animals settling down apart (including the marmot) even within the boundaries of their habitat areas. The small dimensions of the few remaining biolocically-speclfic areas taken together with lowering the population density in them due to an "island" effect, impoverish the variety of species even in the areas with the appropriate biotopes available. For this reason it has long since become urgent to set up a system of thoroughly protected nature territories in Mordovia. Without such a system biologically-specific areas and their inhabitants are likely to be doomed.

The marmot had been enrolled into the list of protected animals under Category 3 (R) - "rare species" immediately after its reacclimatization. In the Red Book of Mordovia which is due to appear the marmot will enter in as a subtype of (S) - "restored and restoring species" although 3 (R) seems to be more relevant, as the population of the existing settlements is not growing.

Protection of the marmot species should indude the following measures: 1) Fight against poaching in all forms (8 of 15 settlements fell victim to poachers; 4 settlements have disappearek altogether). 2) Preservanion and care of the existing settlements. Development of special protection measures appropriate for the real conditions. 3) Creation of TPNT system for settling the marmot families apart.

Below we present a list of areas presumably fit for developing TPNT system and marmot release (the biological specifity was taken into consideration). The Torbeevsky reg.: slopes on the r. Partsa, the right bank, near the v. Surgod. The Lyambirsky reg.: the slopes north of Belogorskoye and near the v. Belotroitsky; in the environs of v. Krivozerje and Bslozerja. The Kovilkinsky reg.: north-west of the v. Riskine. The Ruzaevsky reg: the slopes 3 km north to v. Palaevka. The Kochkurovsky reg.: the ravine "Seyalatki" near v. Semyley. The Bolshebereznikovsky reg.: the slopes of the hills containing carbonate layers near vv. Simkino, Gart, Degilevka and Weise. The Bolsheignatovsky reg.: near the v. Kuchkaevo. The Chamzinsky reg.: an "island" hill west of the v. Sabur-Machkasi. The Atyashevsky reg.: an "island" hill south-east of v. Kamenka; the slopes of hills north-east of the v. Russkye Dubrovki. The Ardatovsky reg.: the valley slopes on the right bank of the river Meni near Olevka; slopes between the vv. Zharenki and Selischi. The Ichalkovsky reg.: slopes between Lobaski and Ichalky v. and near Lada.

The present list is not complete; however, it may serve as "a guide to action" for the local state-run and public bodies responsible for nature protection.

Back to Abstracts contents