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06
Jul

European souslik is returning to nature parks

During June, 2017, experts from „Science for Nature“ foundation and Institute of biodiversity and ecosystem services conducted a survey of the European souslik in the „Vitosha“, „Balgarka“, „Vratchanski Balkan“ and „Sinite kamani“ nature parks. In recent years there has been reintroduction of this emblematic species that has disappeared from many mountain habitats in the country. Thanks to funding from the Operational Program „Environment 2007-2014“ activities were carried out for the restocking of the European souslik, by reintroduction and support of the mountain livestock breeding. Our research has shown the success of these activities by finding living colonies of European souslik in the four parks. In the Bulgarka NP the European souslik have found a suitable habitat in the southeastern slopes of Mount Ispolin at 600 m from the place of displacement.In the Vratchanski Balkan Nature Park the colony spreads northwards along the eastern slopes of the mountain in the direction of sub-division „Lokvite“. In the Vitosha NP have occupied an area of about 100 m from the place of release and in the Sinite Kamani NP a critically endangered existing colony has increased and shows vital signs by occupying new territories about 1 km from the site of reintroduction.The research is part of the dissertation of Maria Kacamakova (IBEI – BAS) with the scientific coordinator Dr. Yordan Koshev on „Adaptation of the European souslik (Spermophilus citellus) in translocations of individuals in Bulgaria“.Pictures of the expeditions can be found at the following links:

„Vrachanski Balkan“ NP
„Bulgarka“ PP
„Sinite kamani“ NP
„Vitosha“ NP

 

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