Together we help protect the ground squirrel

Sousliks in Pavlovice

This year we successfully produced a detailed map of the occurrence of sousliks in Velké Pavlovice and the surrounding areas. We covered over 600km to identify where the sousliks are living in Velké Pavlovice. Although they are day active and it is possible to see them running along the grass or stopping to call to each other, with the inconsistent vegetation which surrounds Velké Pavlovice, it is not easy to always see them. Therefore, it is only necessary to walk between the rows in the vineyards, every footpath, the edges of fields and connections to orchards to look for and map each souslik hole. Our experienced surveryors are able to distinguish between a souslik hole and other types of holes created by mice, voles or hamsters. As sousliks use more than one hole, it is difficult to estimate the total number of individuals in the area but this type of mapping is the first step towards using statistics to predict the number of sousliks living there. As well as hole mapping, botanists have surveyed the area and colleagues from Charles University have taken drone images so combining these data, we will be able to define the factors influencing the occurrence of ground squirrels using modern analyses.

The central colonies of ground squirrels are in Novosady and Staré hory, where there are small vineyards, orchards and flower beds. They also occur in lower densities on the slopes of Ostrovec in apricot orchards, in the vineyards of Nové hory, in Išperky and Bedřiška. There is also an isolated colony in Lizniperky.

Red points - European ground squirrel hole