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., 70, (Russian), 172(English).


G.V. Olenev, V.A. Gashek, V.D. Zacharov, A.V. Lagunov

Institute of Animal & Plant Ecology, Ekaterinburg
History-Archeological Arcaim Reserve, Chelyabinsk region, Ilmen Reserve, Miass, Russia

A decision about Marmota bobac resettlement was adopted in 1995 in connection with a danger of flooding of the part of Sintachty river floodland (Chelyabinsk region, Bredy district). In total, sixty animals were captured. Among them, 21 marmots were released at the Bolshaya Karagsnka floodland near the territory of the "Arcaim" Natural Reserve.

Investigations of new settlements were performed in 1994 and 1996. In the course of May 1994 these settlements were censused both inside snd outside the Arcaim Reserve down the B. Karaganka river. 12 habitable with marmot indices burrows were registered at the territory of Natural Reserve, and 21 dwelling burrows were registered behind the southern boundary of the Reserve. Estimated total number of marmots was determined as 40-50 individuals approximately. Note that according to reserve' workers, in the first season after release a part of marmots was bag by herdsman dogs, since these reieased animals had not enough time to make their burrows. In subsequent years young marmots also were captured and killed by dogs. According to Reserves workers and other sources even within the Reserve, from 3 to 6 marmots die every spring becouse of this reason. Nevertheless, observations made in 1996 discovered 49 habitable burrows within the Rerserve, and 17 burrows behind the southern boundary of it. Possibly, sucsessful marmots resettlement is due to the existence of the protected area of the Reserve. Another settlement (5 burrows) was found at the distsnce of 2 km from south-east boundary of the Reserve.

Thus, 71 habitable marmot burrows were registered within the Arcaim Reserve and at the adjacent territory in 1996. Total numbers were estimated as 80-90 individuals. Despite of the relatively high mortality, the numbers of marmots increased in 4-5 times during 5 years.

One can suppose that resettlement of marmots was sucsessful due to protection of the Reserve status and proper choice of favourable plots for their release. However, it is nesessery to evaluate the success of the release of marmots at the unprotected area (39 individuals).

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