AROUND SLOVAKIA

Marmot population renewed

IN THE Belianske Tatry mountain range, conservationists have renewed the wild population of Alpine marmots (Marmota marmota latirostris) which died out in this region in 2006 – probably killed by poachers seeking the alleged healing benefits of their fat. The conservationists gradually brought several families of marmots to the region from the western part of Tatras, the animals flourished and the population has become self-sufficient again, the head of the TANAP (Tatra National Reserve) Administration Pavol Majko told the ČTK newswire.

IN THE Belianske Tatry mountain range, conservationists have renewed the wild population of Alpine marmots (Marmota marmota latirostris) which died out in this region in 2006 – probably killed by poachers seeking the alleged healing benefits of their fat. The conservationists gradually brought several families of marmots to the region from the western part of Tatras, the animals flourished and the population has become self-sufficient again, the head of the TANAP (Tatra National Reserve) Administration Pavol Majko told the ČTK newswire.

“The population is already stabilised and the animals have made about 200 new dens so the marmots have been naturalised there and gradually they are spreading to new localities,” Majko said. In the last three years, conservationists moved 18 adult marmots to the Belianske Tatry, and this year, four young ones were born. The imported animals have microchips implanted and thus administration employees can monitor them. Within the renewal of the marmot population, more detailed research was made which confirmed, for instance, that the Tatra type of Alpine marmot living in Slovakia is a separate sub-species that can be found nowhere else in the world.

Expert evaluation suggests about 700 marmots live in the TANAP, with a smaller population living in the Low Tatras. The marmot belongs among the most protected animals and its value is set at more than €2,650 per animal. Its natural enemies are mainly eagles, and also lynxes and foxes.


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