European Ground Squirrel
Support colony European Ground Squirrel
Name of the project
GSII-59 Support colony European Ground Squirrel Public domestic aerodrome Vyškov
(Natural Heritage site and major European Airports Marchanice)
- EEA grants 2009-2014
- Ministry of the Environment
- Supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway
This site was created with financial support from the EEA grants 2009-2014 and the Ministry of Environment. The contents are solely responsible Aeroclub Vyskov, z.s. and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of donor or the Ministry of the Environment.
Aim of the project
The project MGSII-59 related to the bailout program European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) and dealt measures 3.1 solves Care habitat, specifically 3.1.1 Security Management habitat European Ground Squirrel as a whole. Simultaneously, a project partially solved measures 3.5 Education and awareness in the framework of mandatory project publicity.
European Ground Squirrel general is critically endangered rodent from the squirrel family (Sciuridae). In the 50s of the 20th century it was considered an important economic pest and has been targeted fighting. Today is threatened primarily by habitat loss. It is protected by Czech and European legislation.
European Ground Squirrel general, originally steppe species inhabits in the Czech Republic regular mowing or grazing grasslands. European Ground Squirrel has a social way of life in the colonies. He survives the winter in the form of hibernation, which can last up to 240 days. The occurrence European Ground Squirrel their existence are bound to other species.
At present, the European Ground Squirrel found at 35 sites throughout the country, most of them are but a few of its numerous colonies (less than 100 individuals). The most important location is the natural monument Marchanice Airports, where the colony is located about 600 numbers of individuals. This is a significant indigenous population European Ground Squirrel in the Czech Republic, among others very valuable in terms of preserving the gene pool and the occurrence of this kind in the Czech Republic. The Vyškov population European Ground Squirrel is one of the few in the Czech Republic, which is due to its abundance able to survive even in emergencies. Rightly so Vyškov airport called Airports Marchanice (CZ0623370) include a government decree no. 132/2005 Coll. up of European importance Natura 2000 sites.
On 6. 8. 2014 has been established in this area Leriště Marchanice Natural Monument, where the protection is just common European Ground Squirrel . Ensuring the existence and prosperity of the colony European Ground Squirrel the Vyškov airport is so important to simultaneously fulfill the European objectives of conservation.
European Ground Squirrel general originally steppe species for which there is a need for the presence of short blade of grass vegetation to a height of 15 cm. Only under such conditions has European Ground Squirrel visual contact with other members of the colony and has an early opportunity to observe a potential predator.
Measures implemented under the scheme MGSII-59 - colonies European Ground Squirrel Public domestic aerodrome Vyškov (EVL Airports Marchanice) support area "Implementation of approved programs and emergency care for specially protected species of flora and fauna" was to ensure the management of the site in a public national airport Vyškov (EVL Airports Marchanice). It consisted mainly in the intensive mowing lawns all airport grounds so that the height of a blade of grass does not exceed 15 cm.
Planar surface allows efficient airport Vyškov mowing blades at a low height, typically for adjustment to a value from 3 to 5 cm, depending on the equality of the areas. Individual cuts are thus carried out in approximately one month, when the grass were growing at a height of about 15 cm. When sufficient frequency of mowing (4 times per year) and has consistently maintained nízkostébelný grassland that its height up to 15 cm is an ideal habitat for European ground squirrel.
Leaving the site without implementing cuts in the proposed scope and intensity would mean an immediate worsening of the living conditions of the colony European Ground Squirrel in this area. Leaving the grass at a height of 15 cm does not allow gophers visual contact with other members of the colony and does not give him an early opportunity to observe a potential predator. This has a negative effect both on reducing the numbers of colonies because of their attacking predator, but at the same time does European Ground Squirrel required peace for reproduction worry about young individuals receiving a sufficient amount of food to successfully weather the winter hibernation period. Ensure regular management on the localities where European Ground Squirrel is so crucial measure of the rescue program and implemented measures has the highest priority.
Since 2010, when it was introduced to this area every year managenent are all lawns in the airport premises regularly mowed to provide optimal conditions for the life of the colony European Ground Squirrel. The colony is stabilized and the number of about 600 to 650 individuals.
Results of the project
In 2015, in the second call, a project MGSII-59 of support for the European Ground Squirrel colony at the airport Vyškov Marchanice again from the funds of the European and Norwegian funding, making it possible, inter alia, to purchase new technology for the mowing of grassland in the location and the desired intensity. It was a tractor Zetor Proxima type 90 and Rider Park 540 IX producer Stig, cutting head 110 Combi Pro EL producer STIGA. With this investment has been possible to implement the management of the site in its entirety, not only in 2015, but will be secure in the coming years.
Location airport is also frequently visited by the general public for the purpose of recreation or sports. The biggest risk for the European Ground Squirrel colony associated with the attendance of their possible misconduct in this area, especially the discharge of stray cats or dogs. In the event that it was not introduced management sites hosting European ground squirrel general, it would result in interference to ground squirrels from their natural activity or even their predation.
Within the obligatory publicity for the project were created brochures that were distributed among visitors to events held at the airport in order to increase awareness among the general public about the uniqueness of the site to visit. During 2015, the airport Vyškov Marchanice conducted two informational seminars to familiarize visitors with the life of European Ground Squirrel in this area and the measures that are taken to his rescue, including a project MGSII-59 supported by EHP funds from 2009 to 2014, the Ministry of Environment and a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Thanks to the project MGSII-59 - Support for the European Ground Squirrel colony on public domestic airport Vyškov supported EHP Funds 2009-2014, the Ministry of Environment and a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway introduced important measures and acquired the necessary machinery to ensure the long-term management of the site European Ground Squirrel at the airport Vyškov Marchanice.