Blackstep thunder a photo and a brief description, where it lives and what it eats | Red Book

In the fauna of Eurasia, the Blackstep threat of the Baikal subspecies occupies a special place. Due to the narrow distribution, it is listed in the Red Book as a rare type of rodent. Not many people know that at the end of September the animal falls into hibernation. However, in addition, representatives of this subspecies have a number of features.


Blackstep thunder refers to the type of chord class of mammals. Animals of this species prefer to live as families. In each of them up to 4 animals. Often families form colonies whose number reaches 20 individuals.

Surki live in holes. They are divided into summer, temporary and wintering. It is worth noting that the cameras and moves of the latter are located at a depth in the soil layer, which freezes. The temperature of this soil in the winter season drops to16 ° C. All their burrows are arranged. For this purpose, they use dry grass. The weight of such a lining reaches 13 kg.

At the end of September, animals fall into hibernation. They are placed quite tightly to each other. If there are too many marmos in the colony, then they are placed in two rows in height.

The Baikal subspecies has an average size. The body length of adults is 22-24 cm. Another distinctive feature is soft and thick wool. Hairy height reaches 33 mm.


Blackstep thunder attracts attention with its long fluffy tail. Its dimensions reach 12 cm (28% of his body length). There is a “hat” on the head of the representatives of this subspecies, smoothly turning back to the edge of the ears. It can be both black and black and brown. Often the “hat” also stretches under the eyes. A black strip passes near the lips. White cheeks.

There are wide dark spots on the back of the groundhog. The bottom of the body is painted in hoarse-rusty or hoarse shades. On the sides of the wool of light, paw. The fur in the back of the back is often painted red.

Red Book

Blackstep thunder is listed in the Red Book. He is assigned a 4 category of rarity. However, he entered it only in March 2020. The Baikal subspecies of the blackstep marketing is guarded only in the Barguzinsky reserve. Any urgent special security measures at the moment are not required for him.

Where it lives

Surks of this subspecies live in Lake Baikal. As a place of residence, they choose alpine meadows and dry mountain tundra. You can meet the animal on the upper reaches of mountain streams and rivers. As a rule, the family creates for themselves a common pasture and shelter. The boundaries of the territory between the clans are dense thickets or sharp cliffs.

It is worth noting that this subspecies has a rather narrow distribution. During the expedition of the “reserve Baikalia” 2020, the habitat of black-step marketing in the Baikalo-Lensky Reserve was significantly discovered for the first time.


The basis of the diet of the rodent is young shoots and cereals. Surki love flowers and leaves of bitterness, water bribe and island. With a shortage of food, they switch to blueberry berries. It can also eat their leaflets. Rodent can enjoy cedar nuts.

With the onset of spring, the surki begins to ruin nests of food. At the same time, representatives of this subspecies begin to hunt small birds and mammals. In the spring, their diet is replenished with insects and rainworms. When they fail to get food, they eat snow.

The Blackstep threat of the Baikal subspecies is a rare type of rodent, rightfully occupying its place in the Red Book. It is worth noting that the animal becomes sexually mature at the age of 3 years. The mating period begins immediately after hibernation in the spring, before leaving the north. The pregnancy of the female lasts about 5 weeks. On average, she is born 3-5 cubs.

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