Initiative «Save super-rodents!» started (NGO «Akhova Ptushak Batskauschyny»)

In Belarus the searching expedition for wild hamsters, ground sousliks and flying squirrels are started.

NGO «Akhova Ptushak Batskauschyny» has started the ecological initiative to preserve the relic fauna of Belarus, which threatens extinction.

Experts looking for the colonies of gophers and hamsters, as well as flying squirrels living space under the initiative «Hamster, gopher and flying squirrel: save the super-rodents! (Preservation of endangered representatives of the relict fauna of Belarus, common hamster, speckled gopher and flying squirrel)» of the Project «EcoMonitoring», which is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The main objective of the project — to find and save the rare species of rodents Belarus and their place of living. Gopher and hamster — steppe species, which have always lived side by side with agricultural fields, flying squirrel in Belarus — an indicator of natural and intact ecosystems. All of them — in the Red Book of Belarus. Through secretive lifestyle is not easy to find them. With the help of the citizens, and modern devices to search for experts hope to find new places inhabited by these species.

lived gopher colonies in burrows in dry meadows central Belarus, active day. His number was reduced by 98% since 1960.

Hamsters live in the fields on the outskirts of the south-west of the country, there were also in the southeast. The current population status unknown. In winter, squirrels and hamsters fall into hibernation. The main threats to these species in Belarus, where they have remained, — the extension of agricultural fields, the destruction of dens and planting of forests in areas of their lives.

Flying squirrel — nocturnal forest creature, who was considered missing since 1996 on the territory of Belarus, until it was re-discovered in 2017 by specialists JSA. While it is known only a few areas in the north-east of the country, where the flying squirrel lives. For its main threat — clearcutting in old-growth forests, forest fragmentation, cutting of hollow trees.

Simon Levy, APB specialist on environmental issues:

To date, we know very little about the current spread of flying squirrels, and the usual hamster pockmarked gopher in Belarus. Initiative will collect data and thus allow to take measures for the conservation of these rodents, which were on the verge of extinction. During the initiative, we will do testing of advanced equipment to search for and monitor the rodents. All of them are secretive way of life, and the flying squirrel and hamster active at dusk and at night. But we hope that people who know where there are still a colony of ground squirrels and hamsters inform us, and the last of their refuge will be saved. Once they were considered pests in agriculture, but now we are talking about the survival of our rodent superheroes. It is necessary to save them.


The initiative «hamster, ground gopher and flying squirrel: save super-rodents» is carried out by NGO «Akhova Ptushak Batskauschyny» in partnership with Gorodokski Forestry, Ecological and local history museum,  Public association «Nerush» and the Scientific and Practical Center of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus for Bioresources.


Contact person — Simon Levy, 8 (029) 101-68-87,


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NGO «Akhova Ptushak Batskauschyny» — one of the largest environmental NGOs in Belarus, and in 2005 — the national partner of the global environmental association «BirdLife International», which includes organizations from 121 countries. APB — it’s more than 2,500 members and volunteers, and more than 30,000 fans, 100 school clubs and 14 local offices across the country. The organization works for the conservation of biodiversity and connecting people to the active nature conservation. Only together can we preserve the wildlife of our country — and join you!

Contacts organization: Minsk, ul. Parnikovaya 11, office 4.

(+375 17) 369 76 13, (+375 29) 223 06 13, (+375 29) 101 68 87

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