Proto: © Ivailo Dimitrov
In 2020 the European souslik (Spermophilus citellus) was designated as a globally threatened species. This amiable relative to squirrels, lives in meadows and pastures in Central and Southeastern Europe, where it is adapted to the traditional agricultural practices. Unfortunately, with the intensification of the agriculture and declining of the pastoralism the souslik is losing its habitats. One third of the colonies in Bulgaria vanished between 1950 and 1990 and this is still the current trend. Bulgaria at the same time is a center for the species dissemination with the highest genetic diversity. That is why the conservation of the souslik in our country is extremely important for the surviving of the species.
One of the goals of the Life for Falcons project is rescuing the threatened souslik colonies. This could be done by purchasing and sustainable management of lands in the Natura 2000 areas or by relocating of the animals when the former is not possible. Our team works on the field the whole year long, but we cannot visit every place in the country and often the news of the threatened colonies come to our knowledge when it’s already too late. We want to call out everyone who has information (with precise coordinates) of meadows and/or pastures under the threat of destruction to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org (Dr. Yordan Koshev) or email@example.com (Dr. Maria Kachamakova).
You can find a map of the known colonies so far on the website of the project. If you see that there is a colony which is missing on it, please make a record on a mobile application SmartBirds Pro or write to us at the above-mentioned emails.
The souslik will be thankful!