Cheeked ground squirrel — citellus erythrogenys brandt. The practical significance

Changes in population. Changes in the number of red-squirrel studied by many authors (Martin, 1922; Vinogradov, 1924 Zverev, 1927 Belyaev, 1955 Tolebaev, 1958 Zaleski, 1962), and these studies focused mainly on the influence of agriculture on the dynamics of their population. It was found that the maximum value for the gophers have plowed steppes and arable land gradually accustom small animals. So cheeked ground squirrel in the twenties, thirties, occupy only the marginal zone of crops and did not stay there for long slumber. "After the development of virgin lands for settlement of his crops become permanent. Currently, about a quarter of its population after emergence dwells in the depths of crops, more than half is held in the edge area of fields and adjacent areas of virgin and only 22% remains in large tracts of virgin land, having no connection with crops "(Zaleski, 1964).

The complex of cultivated land are three groups of habitats: spring (unploughed land in crops), fattening (all crops) and wintering (cereal stubble). According to AN Zaleski (1964) for strength gophers affects preceding crop. Progress settling crops depends on the timing of maturation. If the fields ripen prematurely nazhirovki animals, squirrels go for the winter to the virgin land. Late sowing nazhirovki are home and at the same time of hibernation.

In view of the significant non-uniformity of conditions of existence in different parts of the range of practical importance red-squirrel in different habitats is markedly different. In Western Siberia, and also in the north-eastern part of Kazakhstan's area — the right bank of the Pavlodar and Semipalatinsk regions with their intensive grain farming gophers are important agricultural pests. Studies AM Belyaev (1955), AK Tolebaeva (1958) and A. Zaleski (1962) show that especially great harm they cause to crops, especially spring wheat. According to estimates AN Zaleski, one red-hot marmot living on wheat field, reduces the yield by 20-40 kg (Average 34) grains. Even with a population density of one to two squirrel per hectare sown each household annually loses 5-10% yield, which ultimately amounts to hundreds of thousands of tons, with most damage unobtrusive. In dry years, the damage from gophers grain-farming increases markedly.

According to AN Zaleski (1964), a critical factor in determining strength these animals on crops, and therefore the value of their damage are the availability and size of unplowed areas inside the array of fields in the spring. The highest number of described rodent celebrated on narrow strips of crops, and the continuum of their relatively greater in small squares, where lower levels of agricultural technology.

Eating a valuable forage plants, red-squirrel is causing significant damage to pastures. Each gopher reduces crop yield by an average of 14 kg. Calculations show that the weight of green mass hectare plot on which lived 16 squirrels, 46% of its weight in the region where there was no ground squirrels.

As a result of their burrowing activity animals, PE is highly saline soil, impair its properties contribute to the development of erosion processes. Annually gophers bring to the surface about 1.7 m3 subsoil on each hectare of pasture. From this it follows that red-hot gopher in the right bank of the Pavlodar region remains a serious pest on crops and in the virgin areas (Zaleski, 1964).

In the western part of the area, ie, the left bank of Pavlodar, North Kazakhstan, Kokchetav and Tselinograd areas, the number of red-cheeked ground squirrel is relatively lower, and in some areas is so small that speak of its harmful activities is not necessary (Belov, 1931).

To combat the red-cheeked gopher mainly used method gassing burrows chloropicrin, which could replace tsianplavom, since the action of the last independent of temperature rodent burrows (Belyaev, 1955). Recently found that squirrels willingly take poisoned bait from wheat bran with zinc phosphide or calcium arsenite (Belyaev, 1955 Tolebaev, 1958).

According to AN Zaleski (1964), the use of bait method will work best for pastures, virgin areas of fields, perennial grasses in the period from the start of spring plowing before sprouting. In areas where the concentration of small ground squirrels, the use of methods of land spreading baits. Use of air power is justified only in large arrays, populated entirely ground squirrels. Near livestock farms and settlements should be organized trapping animals traps.

Decrease in the number of gophers in the fields can be achieved the best farming practices with the lifestyle of animals. Delays in spring field work leads to the fact that squirrels safely experiencing plowing, moving from arable land on the stubble, and then planted in the earlier sections, where by that time there shoots. Vegetated roadside areas are places of concentration of gophers and pathway in the seed depth. Loss of grain at sowing improve living conditions of animals in the period before heading grain and grain lost during harvesting, is one of the main food sources of ground squirrels in the first days after waking up in the spring. Prolonged cultivation of a culture creates a frequency change of ecological conditions to which the squirrels adapt by increasing its strength.

To reduce the number of ground squirrels on crops should take all appropriate measures, in particular the holding of sowing in a short time, leaving the smallest possible number of unplowed areas of crops (elimination of flaws), plowing and hoeing treatment roadsides, loss control of grain at sowing and harvesting, right alternation in the fields of grain and root crops and weed (Zaleski, 1964).

In areas of relatively low numbers of rodents (on the left bank of the Irtysh) ample measure to shield crops from harmful activities gophers may be the organized fishing without the use of chemical control methods. Fishing will also serve as a way to support the extermination of squirrels in areas of high population. In connection with this red-squirrel can partly be seen as a fur animal, which has a positive value in the economy.

Mechanical or fishing method of extermination of ground squirrels requires allocating the required number of trappers, hunters, and providing them with transportation, fishing gear (trap number 1). Quality furs depends on the observance of the primary ways of processing and konservirovki skins.

Fishing at the red squirrel is now organized in North Kazakhstan, Kokchetav, Pavlodar and Semipalatinsk regions. Part of his foraged in northern Tselinograd region. During the period from 1932 to 1965. in the four main areas in average fishing season produces about 337,400 animals. When the purchase price by 6 kopecks. for top-notch normal skin total harvested in one year is about fur 20000 rubles.

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