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., 29 (Russian), 148-149 (English).


V.V. Grubnik, V.Yu. Gorbunov

Kharkov State University, Kharkov, Ukraine

Most of the time Marmota bobac live in the burrow, both during the winter hibernation and in summer.The fact that this aspect of this species life has hardly been investigated led us to the creation of the artificial burrow ( burrow from now on) for Marmota bobac keeping under the conditions of semi-confinment.

The burrow was constructed at the KSU Biological Station since there animals of this species have been kept in the confinment for a long time.

A foundation pit was dug out in the sand (2.5x2.5x2 m). Walls of the pit were covered by the brick. On the sand pillow there were two cells (100x50x50 sm) connected by the passage with glass windows. The underground cells contained movable glasses and passages to the surface. All the passages were made of brick and their section was 17x17 sm. Burrow passages were where possible set up with movable glasses. The surface part of the burrow contained an open-air cage 2.4x3.7 m with the concrete bottom covered by sod 30 sm thick.

The basic problem we faced when constructing the burrow was to enable the durability of the construction as well as reliability plus optimal conditions for animals and acceptable for observers. We seem to have successfully solved this problem.

In 1997 spring a couple of this species was introduced into the burrow. The animals have chosen the smaller room to live there.

We have planed a set of experiments on the period of 1997-1998 years connected with investigation of: animal behavior in the active state; some questions of hibernation; mating; bearing the youngs; microclimate changes during the year etc.

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