Return of marmots in the Central Black Earth will begin in summer 2013

The scientists plan to return exterminated in the early twentieth century, marmots in Kursk region, for which about a hundred animals will be brought in the summer of 2013 in the Central Chernozem Reserve, told RIA Novosti the head of the Russian steppe United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Yevgeny Kuznetsov.

"The work begins this year, when the marmots will be caught. We have not decided on a place of capture — or Belgorod region, or Tartary. Assume settle in Central Chernozem Reserve about a hundred individuals, about five or six families. Because natural enemies in marmots almost gone, the hope for success in their future reproduction, "- said Kuznetsov.

Steppes of Central Chernozem badly affected by human activity: because the fertility they were actively used for agriculture. Today, experts note that these ecosystems are destroyed by more than 90%. Many people, especially the most common species, such as marmots and ground squirrels have completely disappeared from the Kursk steppe — with rodents have been fighting a pest, marmots also hunted for fat and skin. As a result of the steppe marmot, marmot, which completely disappeared from the Kursk region already in the 1920s, by the 1980s was in the Red Book of Russia.

"In the spring of 2014 it will be clear whether successfully passed a return to the wild animals, and up to 2015 in the reserve will be conducted continuously monitor the number of animals. Costs of the project are 500-600 thousand rubles, which includes capturing, transporting and working professionals" — the expert added UNDP.

Marmots are a family of squirrels, rodents are large solid build. Weight of an adult animal can reach six pounds. Body length of the steppe marmot — 49-58 cm, 12-18 cm tail. Most of the year hibernating marmots holds in its hole, the depth of which can be up to seven meters. The total length of the passages of the same family marmot burrows can exceed 60 meters.

Central Black Earth Nature Reserve after Vladimir Alekhine was created in 1935. The reserve is located in the south-western part of Upland within the middle zone of the forest-steppe zone, in Medvensky, Manturovsky, Gorshechensky areas of Kursk region. The total area of the reserve is more than five thousand acres.

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