Crapping gopher belongs to the “squirrel” family, the genus of “gophers”, to the appearance of rodents. It lives in the steppe kovye and foreststeppe zones. This small animal of a fussy disposition can emerge from meadow grass, stand with a column, folding his legs on his chest and quickly disappear.
Of the whole genus of gophers, the speckled is one of the smallest. His body has a length of 18 to 25 centimeters and a short tail (3-5 cm). The maximum mass is only 500 grams. On a large eye, compared to the body of the head, the eyes are located. The scrap gopher instead of ears is skin nuts. On short paws there are moving and rather long fingers,
The body is covered with a short and rare hairline, and the tail has a long and fluffy wool. The wool of the rodent is painted in gray-brown or brown, with distinguished white or light yellow spots that have a clear outline. In young animals, nettles are sometimes located in a row.
White wool in the throat area and on the abdomen of a lighter tone than on the back. Around the eyes, borders of light rings, and below are brown spots. A twocolor tail has a light circuit.
Where it lives
Animals are common in forest-steppe zones located on the plain of the East European part. There are also limited habitats: in Ukraine in its northwestern part and two areas in Western Belarus.
The food of the speckled gopher is plant. In his diet there are fifty items of various plants. He loves to eat cereals and different herbs, such as:
The diet is changing depending on the time of year. In the spring, the crumb gopher feeds on the underground parts of plants, in the summer season eats parts that are green, and in the fall prefers to enjoy the seeds.
The gopher can eat cereals at any stage of development, but the fields visits no further than 0.5 meters from the edge. When a massive flight of beetles occurs in the southern regions, the speckled gopher is fed by beetles.
In its pantries, a speckled animal puts it down within 500 grams of feed, which eats during adverse weather conditions. In winter they don’t eat gophers.
The speckled gopher settled in the coat steppes, foreststeppes and meadows. The original places of its habitat are hilly sections of the steppes, the zones of the forest strip, the outskirts of wheat and corn fields, as well as abandoned vineyards and garden areas.
Liveup gophers live mainly in colonies, but sometimes settled one by one. Each gopher equips his own hole. Usually it is built for permanent residence and there are still holes that are being built temporarily for protection. Nora has a length of two to three meters and input. A nest chamber is arranged in the hole, which can have a depth of up to 130 centimeters. Susliks live and multiply in burrows for permanent residence. It happens that snops are built in the hole, as well as additional inputs. Temporary minks shallow and simpler.
Lives a speckled gopher saddle and does not make migrations.
The greatest activity of gophers show in the morning and evening. Individuals of the young generation accumulate the fat layer during the daylight day. Susliks like good weather. On cold and rainy days, they sit in minks. The hibernation of the speckled gophers is long and lasts six months, sometimes more (usually October-April). It happens that in the dry period they fall asleep back in August.
The gopher is sleeping in a sedentary position: he sits on his hind legs, his head bends to the abdominal part and closes with his tail. After winter sleep, crumbs of gophers become half as much.
Young individuals can walk and eat all day. Females are active after the release of their offspring into adulthood, and males can leave the hole only in the morning, for eating.
After the winter hibernation ends, after 8-11 days a favorable time occurs for propagation. This is the time Gona. In places of residence of females, males appear, they begin the struggle for mastering the female. Gopher mating occurs in burrows. Females go pregnant from 22 to 27 days and withdraw six to eight cubs. In June (in the first decade), grown cubs go for a walk. The female immediately leaves the hole, and does not appear for three days to learn to eat firm food. After a few days, young gophers leave their mothers and equip themselves with holes.
In the first year of their life, crumbling gophers often die (almost 70%). The main causes of high mortality of animals:
Creded gophers have many enemies in nature. They become victims of ferrets, ermine, affection, foxes, Korshunov, Filin, Sokolov, Pustelg, Field Moon. Predators attack gophers most often in the summer, but the ferrets can dig directly from the hole. The life of a crumbling gopher continues in natural conditions for only four years.
Population and security
The number of speckled gophers has currently decreased in all sections of its habitat. Populations located in Eurasia are not tenden to increase, their settlements are dying out. This species constantly reduces its numbers. Territories in crown gophers need to be conducted by security measures.
This species is considered dying and listed in the lists of the Red Book. It was included in the MSOP list, in the status of “threatened”.
The main reasons for the disappearance of the species can be called the following anthropogenic factors: