Yellow ground squirrel or gopher-sandstone – citellus fulvus lichtenstein. The practical significance

According to different authors (Orlov, 1929 Sludsky, 1938 Argiropulo Vinogradov, 1941) and our observations, yellow gopher in some regions of Kazakhstan serves as a pest of crops. It hurts wheat, rye, barley, of melons: watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes harm young shoots, kills nursery of fruit and ornamental trees, damaging alfalfa, sunflower sprouts. DN Kashka rovym and L. Lane Sokolova (1927) were cases destroying gopher grape nurseries where animal damage inflicted on the young shoots of 80-100%. BS Vinogradov (1936) believes that in the conditions of Uzbekistan yellow gopher in many cases, no harm, eating wild plants, but in some places and harms, especially in areas where new culture, in particular cotton and melon crops. According to the VB Dubinin (1954) and X. Salihbaeva S. (1956), yellow gopher brings serious damage, settling near the rain-fed crops. So, one day about 30 normal animal picked up 313 ears of wheat with a total weight of 2.2 kg grain.

In some areas of Uzbekistan yellow gopher inhabits virgin land, fallow and roadsides, it is not going to the cultivated land (Kostin, 1956). Only when he is plowing virgin soil of the cultural field. However, estimating the economic value of the yellow ground squirrel, as a pest of crops, zoologists are finding little to harm, given the spread in the desert and semi-desert, where grain production is relatively weakly developed. In areas of high population yellow gopher is important as a pest of pasture. A similar phenomenon was observed in the area Karsakpay Sludskii A. (1938) and us on the island Barsakelmes, where the population density of seven gophers 1 hectare on sagebrush-grass areas they destroyed up to 17% of plant mass. These animals were acclimatized serious competitors there ungulates – saiga, gazelle and onager.

Despite these drawbacks, this rodent, unlike other species of ground squirrels can not refer to the number of serious pests of agriculture. He is known as the most likely valuable game animals. In fur blanks republic yellow gopher is one of the first places and now its catching produced in many regions of Kazakhstan. During the past 34 years on average for each fishing season, producing about 760 thousand animals. When the purchase price to 29 kopecks. a first-class average of normal skin cooked and total cost for one year is about furs 220 thousand rubles. Given the practical interest, we consider it necessary to give here a few details about the timing of fishing and way of getting this animal, as well as primary treatment of the manufactured products.

Terms fishing yellow gopher in each case is determined by climatic conditions specific area. In the southern areas, where animals are awake before the hunt begin at an earlier date than in the north. Awakening gophers usually occurs in late February – early March in the desert regions of Kazakhstan and later in the area of semi-desert and vsuhihstepyah.

These terms and defines the start of the fishery. The end of a fishing coincides with the molting animals, which occurs at the end of April or in the more northern regions – in early May. Thus, the duration of fishing equals the average two months, with the greatest trapping occurs in the middle of this period.

Their quality pelts are more valuable in the early spring, that is, in the first half of fishing. At this time, caught almost exclusively adult squirrels, skins are valuable not only in quality, but large in size. Therefore, the most desirable time of hunting can be considered as the first period of the season. In addition, it should be noted that at this time are caught mostly actively behaving males, getting that little effect on the further condition of the herd.

The first begins to fade after waking up semi-mature specimens that have fur quality in every respect inferior to adults. So the beginning of molting small, like last year's ground squirrel hunters warned of impending shedding large mature animals, which is a more high-quality goods. As a rule, trade perekraschaetsya when much of the small ground squirrel is linnymi, although adults by this time just beginning to fade. Therefore almost always end the same fishing with start molting adults, as a result of the skins of large ground squirrels are malodefektnymi and mostly top-notch.

Technique of obtaining. Fishing success is largely dependent on the availability of hunting gear and the necessary ancillary equipment. Of still used gear on a yellow ground squirrel traps were the most effective factory production (№ 1 and 2), which give good results with the least expenditure of time and effort. With a lack of this type of trap, you can catch a gopher traps handicrafts that are good, but inconvenient, more bulky, heavy and perhaps not every catcher available.

If a weak spring the trap, gopher easily relieve foot and out of the trap. Cases of care animals are much less when traps have spring high elasticity. Arc to slam at any position of the spring. In short, the right choice for hunters trap the same demanding task as setting them as often depends on the success of the fishery.

Depending on the means of transportation, population density of animals each hunter must have from 50 to 200 traps and the beginning of fishing thoroughly test them. Trap is supplied with a chain or a rope long lasting 70-80 cm pegs of hard wood and a length of 30-40 thickness 4-5 cm or iron.

In addition to the method of obtaining a trap gophers, there are others, but less efficient, and therefore is not everywhere and at all times used. Some hunters for getting gophers practice loop, woven from horsehair or made of thin wire. The loops are usually installed in the hole so that the size of them were a little less than the inlet. Lack stlova loops is that they can be set only at the inlet hole, while the hunters at a mass trap fishery does not waste time tracking down gopher holes, especially in the early spring, when the snow field to find them very difficult.

Gophers pouring water can be used only in an organized, planned the manager. It should be universally banned since the advent of newborn squirrels (mid-April), not yet able to go out of their burrows and dying there from flooding.

In addition to fishing gear, the hunter must be provided and other equipment. The fishery, especially in early spring when the fields lie in deep snow, and below frozen soil catcher must have a small hoe or shovel demining. Not having them even with relatively warm weather and soft ground, almost impossible to correctly and fast to install traps. Hunters also need strong and large knife, which would replace the ax, glasses of colored (usually blue or green) glasses needed to protect the view of the snow in blinding sunny days, a pair of hard bags folding caught animals. It is desirable that catcher was provided with warm footwear, durable canvas clothes, lined kneeling leather and canvas gloves.

Choosing a good location and the correct setting of traps are also the responsibility of tasks catcher. Place and method of setting traps vary depending on the season of fishing. In early spring, during the breeding season, animals are extremely active and are able to make transitions at quite a distance, especially males in search of females. Any freshly dug earth, left in the open areas of snow, and sometimes even in the snow, always attracts the attention of the animals passing by, and there is no case that gophers have not visited these places. All sorts of deepening a gopher holes with heaps of excrement (restrooms) also serve as places of visiting the animals at this time of year and are extremely convenient location for setting traps. In addition, many hunters practice kopanok artificial device or sprinkling heaps of fresh earth and put traps here with the habits of a gopher come to these baits. Therefore, during the rut for setting traps do not have to look for fresh dwelling burrows, which takes too much time. But later, due to the extinction of the activity of animals, fishing is almost exclusively in burrows. However, some hunters prefer preconditioning holes. They bypass the bars and land mark holes, which are even often added dropwise, and the next morning they put traps. Good results are obtained when fishing ground squirrels with a dog that quickly finds the hole and easily determine their habitability.

Traps are set as the vertical and inclined holes in such a way that when you exit the gopher hole or entering it could not avoid or jump trap. In vertical holes trap located on the side, which he leaves gopher, it's easy to identify the tracks and trails in the snow or on dry land, formed by the repeated animal walking on the same site.

At the entrance of hoe or shovel pit breaks, one side opens into a hole. At number 2 trap adjacent to the hole the spring is bent to the side. In oblique entrance trap better set than inside hole, and at the entrance to her, because most of the animals are just visiting this place. In addition, traps easier and faster to put in front than in the hole, especially when the two springs. Before you set a trap, he attached a chain to a peg driven into the ground. After setting a trap disguised. In this case, the left hand holds the bottom plate of the trap, and the right sprinkled damp ground. Arc, spring trap and chain, derived in part, also masked. After this operation, some hunters on a soft hand suslikovine spend a small track on her way to the hole in disguise trap.

At the beginning of the fishery, where most are benign skin sandstone, and the animals themselves are quite small, and they are very careful, you can put a hole two trap. In this ground squirrel got into one of the traps, trying to get out and into the other, and the two legs clamped it can not escape.

Seeing a man caught in a gopher trap pritaivaetsya first, and then begins to fight hard and as a result often goes into the hole, tearing or releasing the foot from the trap. So, without wasting extra minutes should kill the catcher caught gopher. To do this, take the right hand on the animal's head in the neck, and left – in the waist and pull hard right hand, sharp bends the neck up. Of a broken spine in the neck area of the animal dies quickly. Such a slaughter almost does not cause damage to pelts.

When checking traps hunters also have to consider the individual habits of the animal. Early spring or in bad weather gopher is active only during the day, so it's best to catch it during the day, and with the onset of warmer days it is active during the day. In line with this, and should inspect the traps. For example, in the island of Barsakelmes traps were checked at the beginning of the fishery once a day, and later, during the height – two. Frequent checking of traps at the beginning of fishing almost no increase in the productivity of the fishery, and later it gave good results. Catcher went to inspect the traps early in the morning and half of the day time to check out the entire line of exposed traps. Secondary inspection is made on the way back, in the second half of the day. It increases the production of the catcher by 15-20%. In some cases during the day one trap could catch two or three animal. In secondary inspection traps not only increased the rate of production, but also to improve the quality of fur: Avoid rasklevyvanie gophers birds of prey, crows, gulls, damage from heat and skins, etc.

At each visit the trap, even if animal He did not get in, you need to check and correct it, as gopher often falls asleep under the ground plate and freely visit his hole. Traps, which are taken out of the ground squirrels, are not removed, and the second cause concern in the same place, but you should consider the activity of the animal. Spring during heat setting traps on the same hole two to three times as often with good results. We fall into the trap-bridge, located over four days in one place, gradually decreases. For example, one of the divers on the island Barsakelmes in 1946, the first day of setting the trap was 62% hit in the second 55, third 32, fourth 25. So after three or four days catcher rearranged their traps for new holes. At the end of the fishing season, when the activity of animals is small, frequent rearrangement traps needed, and it increases the efficiency of fishing, although time-consuming and labor. Not recommended catching cover a large area at once. Traps are set in a line, usually starting from the periphery of the site and rearranging, gradually moving to the center. We must not allow frequent rearrangement of traps, not scare away animals. With a population density of seven to ten gophers 1 hectare Traps can be placed every 40-50 m With extracted gophers skin removed carpet.

Of grading pelts. By the size of the yellow ground squirrel skins are divided into three distinct groups: the largest with an area of more than 350 skins, medium – from 250 to 350 and small – from 175 to 259 cm2. Area of skin is determined by multiplying the length of the interorbital space to the root of the tail to the width of the middle of the skin.

Depending on the quality of hair skins are divided into two classes. To first class includes skins with a smooth thick hair on the entire area (mostly in large skins), the second – with a somewhat depleted skin and noticeably lower scalp. In addition, within each class are divided into the skin is small, medium and large defects. They are almost all in varying degrees of severity of defects furs purchased between catching and processing: tears, holes, bald patches, curls, lack of body parts, overripe hair, dry lumps, bad skin and fat, etc.

The use of carcasses. Trade yellow gopher not only provides a good fur, but the fat and the meat quality, which, after appropriate processing can be employed for household needs.

With carcasses of adult male mined in the early spring, you can collect up to 150-200 g subcutaneous and visceral fat. The average fishing season with a carcass can be heated 50-60 g fat. Rendered fat gopher thickens at very low temperatures and almost no odor. Especially valuable is clean and perfectly white internal fat, which in some cases can be used in food. Relatively polluted during shooting skins subcutaneous and internal fat, taken from a depleted species, previously used to illuminate the premises during the period of the fishery, making soap, grease, harness, etc.

The average weight of gutted carcass of yellow squirrel – 500 Mr. Dried ground squirrel carcasses may be passed on fur farms or used for cooking soap.

Study of the history and dynamics of fishing blanks yellow gopher gives reason to judge that the provision of this kind in the last

She now reduced many times over. To eliminate this gap in the fishery gopher must arrange for the rational use of this animal: land inventory, conduct route studies and quantitative accounting, identify existing arrays and separate settlements gophers, identify available resources in them.

Based on the data management plans to make use of existing stocks, taking into account fertility, population dynamics, so that the fishery did not cut the main herd.

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