Rescue trapping of ground squirrels near the Bratislava airport will soon be completed. You are looking at one of the last squirrels from this capture. We recently wrote about our colleagues from our ground squirrel conservation project who have been trapping ground squirrels there to save them because there is going to be construction on this site. And about the fact that they are determined to stay until they catch the last one. And indeed they were, and it seems that, in addition to the 2 individuals that were caught today, they are observing the activity of about five others, who ate sunflowers dropped by the burrows and for whom they have now intensified their “hunting”. They set several traps just around the burrow and covered the escape routes with straw, so that when the ground squirrel pokes its head out of the burrow, it will see hanging apples on all sides and, in addition, a straw barrier. Well, what would you choose?
With today’s two caught individuals, we managed to catch up to 532 ground squirrels during this more than a month’s rescue capture, thanks to our persistent colleagues and part-timers, to whom we are very grateful.
In addition to these 532 individuals, 186 ground squirrels were captured from the area in the spring, which is a total of 718 ground squirrels. The estimate on the area was 700-900 individuals, so the colleagues hit the number quite accurately.
Captured ground squirrels were moved to several locations in western Slovakia to strengthen populations with few individuals or to be the first grandparents in newly established ground squirrels.
The area after the captures was plowed with a tractor so that no more ground squirrels would move there for hibernation and look for places around the airport. They do not make burrows in such plowed soil.
Colleagues will wait these days for the remaining ground squirrels and the event can be declared successful.