Despite whole-European trends and changes in the agricultural landscape, the number of ground squirrels is increasing in Slovakia
In 2019, the ground squirrel was listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List, and population curves throughout Europe show a continuing downward trend.
Despite these trends, the number of Slovak ground squirrel population continues to increase after decades. Thanks to nothing else than our LIFE Sysel project 😊.
While in 2020, when we started the project, there were 20,000 individuals of this critically endangered species, in 2021, thanks to the project, there were already about 28,000, and this year they reached the number of 36,000 individuals.
This was also caused by translocations – movements of ground squirrels between individual locations, which improves the fitness of populations due to the mixing of genetic material.
Among other things, grazing in several localities, where it was absent for many years, helped significantly, so we believe that next year the number of ground squirrels will jump up again. And so we will continue to be at the forefront of European countries, where the number of ground squirrels is increasing thanks to a comprehensive approach to agricultural land and its habitats.