The ground squirrels, which were part of the first part of the captures on March 18-25, 2022, are already in their new homes and are obviously doing well. In the images from the camera trap, you can see the first date of a male suslik from the Slovak Kras (in the photo it is the individual on the right with a shaved mark on its back) with a local female in the UEV Horešské lúky.
During the event, a total of 138 ground squirrels (34 females and 104 males) were caught and moved from the 3 largest populations in Slovakia, namely from the Bratislava airport, the Muránska Planina and the Slovak Kras. They were subsequently moved to 15 other locations. The weakest strengthened locality had only 5 individuals last year. We marked the captured ground squirrels by trimming the hair on a small area on their back. So for a few weeks we will be able to visibly distinguish them from domestic ground squirrels and watch how they are doing.
We have already had the opportunity to see the success of such transfers at the Silica Nilaše site. In the years 2019-2021, only 3 females lived there. In 2021, we released 5 new individuals here (3 females and 2 males) and this spring there are already at least 20 individuals running around! We believe that this year’s translocations will be just as successful, as evidenced by the buzzard pair from the camera trap.
Catching and transfers were organized by BROZ, with the cooperation of the State Nature Conservation- Slovak Kras National Park Administration, Cerová vrchovina PLA, Latorica PLA, Malé Karpaty PLA, Dunajské Luhy PLA and Ponitrie PLA, Faculty of Natural Sciences of the UK, Bojnice Zoo and Alka Wildlife. In addition, more than 30 volunteers participated.