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.


A.V. Esipov

Institute of Zoology, Uzbek Academy of Sciences, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

The area of Menzbier's marmot is located between 40.58 N and 42.15 N, and between 69.57 E and 71.03 E, on the territory of the 4 Central Asian states: Uzbekistan, Kyrghyzstan, Kazachstan and Tadjikistan (see Fig.).

At present, the area of this species is geographically isolated and consists of 3 populations: Talass, Chatkal and Kurama (Mashkin, 1993).

The Talass population is the most isolated; it is located on the N and W slopes of the Karzhantau and the Ugam Ridges and is about 50 km away from the Chatkal population.

The Chatkal population is the main core of the area occupying its biggest part and comprising most of the marmots, where their highest density is observed. This population is located in the western part of the Chatkal Ridge and on the Angren Plateau, but on its periphery there are gaps up to 10 km.

The smallest Kurama population is located on the top part of the Kurama Ridge and is 20 km away from the Chatkal population. This population appears to be on the brink of extinction.

This marmot species is protected in two nature reserves: in both sites of the Chatkal nature reserve (Uzbekistan) and in one site of Besharal nature reserve (Kyrghyzstan); two reserves: Akbulak (Uzbekistan) and Aktash (Tadjikistan) and in Ugam-Chatkal National Park (Uzbekistan). These specially-protected areas comprise about 30% of the whole Menzbier's marmot area.

According to our observations, a 2-3-fold decrease in cattle grazing on the Angren Plateau was observed in summer 1996 as compared with previous years. No rifle shots were heard during that season. Such a notable decrease in the human impact on the population of Menzbier's marmot can only be benefitial to the state of its population, since the heaviest damage is inflicted by herdsmen and their dogs.

To get more detailed information about the state of Menzbier's marmot area, it is necessary to perform additional surveys of its periphery.


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