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European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) conservation

a potential distribution approach

European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) conservation

a potential distribution approach

Samenvatting

The European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) is an endemic, non-social, hibernating rodent, distributed through several Pan-European countries. Its habitat is semi-arid grass steppes and analogical man-made landscapes with short vegetation layers, such as meadows and golf courses. Since 1996, the European Ground Squirrel (EGS) is categorized by IUCN as vulnerable, and population numbers are decreasing. It is included in the Bern Convention on Appendix II, and in the European Habitat and Species Directive on Appendix II and IV. Main threats on populations are converting steppes to forestry or cultivated areas with higher vegetation layers. Another threat to populations is the lack of knowledge concerning its current distribution and legal conservation status. The EGS is supposed to be an indicator species with international importance for the conservation of steppe habitats in the scope of installing a Pan-European ecological network. Currently, EGS status has received attention in several countries of its distribution area, but there is no international plan for its conservation. There is however an ad hoc informal network of conservation research on EGS, the European Ground Squirrel Group, with representatives from the majority of the range countries, which has regular meetings. This group has an interest in conservation issues, but currently lacks coherence and a good overview of distribution data over the species range throughout Europe. This investigation has the objective to get an overview of currently existing recent species distribution data, in order to indicate current distribution characteristics and potential habitat, as basis to emphasize the importance of international cooperation in EGS conservation.

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OrganisatieVan Hall Larenstein
InstituutDiermanagement
PartnersHogeschool Van Hall Larenstein
European Ground Squirrel Group
Datum2012-06-01
TypeBachelorscriptie
TaalEngels

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