|European souslik, S.citellus|
The reason we replaced prairie dogs, which are familiar to visitors to zoos all over the world, is that sousliks are in a lot of trouble. Agricultural development, forestry, mining, and other large scale land use changes have destroyed many colonies and reduced many of the rest, while fragmenting populations into small areas of remaining habitat. For sousliks this is quite specific – they need short grass steppe with light soils suitable for excavating burrows. From these they emerge to feed on grass, seeds, flowers, arthropods and similar food resources available to a grassland rodent.
|Long-Legged Buzzard, B.rufinus|
|European Jackal, C.aureus|
|White-Tailed Antelope Squirrel, A. leucurus|
|Thirteen-Lined Ground Squirrel, I. tridecemlineatus|
|Woodchuck or Groundhog, M.monax|
(images from wikipedia)