In the summer, at dawn, in a low grass there are “live columns” on hind legs. These are speckled ground squirrels, thinly whistling with each other – they evaluate the situation.
They will leave the mink, find a blade of grass and chew hastily, ready to whisk back at any moment. And in the evenings they like to warm their backs under the rays of the setting sun. Bright spotting on the back and a red strip under the eye are the differences of the spotted gopher. Such coloring in the early spring saves from predators.
The spotted fur is imperceptible against the background of withered grass. The gopher is a notable homebody. Almost all his life goes underground. Burrows for gophers, which is a shell for snails. Without them, the animal does not live. Earthen fortress saves from predators, rain, hot sun, and for the long cold months turns into a cozy cradle.
Gophers have many enemies. And the most evil – dwarf eagle, he speckled rodents most of all. Where he sees – immediately swoops down. Gopher to help only his agility and keen eyesight. The bundle in the gopher’s mouth is not fodder and not making hay. This is a soft bed to burrow. To do this, gophers tearing grass bundles. Having stuffed its nest with hay and having blocked the entrance with an earthen plug, the animals fall asleep until spring.
In hibernation, the rodent will reach without fresh stock to stocks. Previously, the gophers were not counted, they were without an account. The thought of saving rodents seemed absurd. Now a small animal – candidate for the Red Book of Russia. In the neighboring areas, it has long been exterminated. The gopher began to disappear along with the pastures.
Then he let his appetite down. A rodent is smaller than a squirrel, and eats up a third of a sack of grain in a season. “Every gopher in the agronomist’s field” – the peasants joked. A handful of gophers could leave the collective farmer without a yearly salary. In Soviet times, the animal was declared a “malicious pest of agriculture.”
Fought him mercilessly, destroyed by all means. “For the tail” paid by nickle. Biologists believe that the man himself made a gopher enemy. Animals difficult in the high grass. Lands where cattle are chewing grass are ideal conditions. But the pastures plowed, abandoned, built up. That gopher and went to the field. In the park implement an interesting scientific method: gophers “accustomed.”
For rodents Buryat artificial mink. The animals choose their homes “to taste” or dig their own house next to them. The life of the forest-steppe depends on the gopher. They feed on foxes, weasels, ferrets, birds of prey. The gopher will be gone – other animals will disappear.