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Small Mammals


Small mammal traps

The most important problem of our investigation is searching for the most suitable managment activity implementation in discovering direct or indirect influence of human activity, factors of domestic and wildlife activities, and increasing and decreasing affects and consequence of these activities. On the other hand, permafrost ground thawing gives some requests in investigation of biodiversity, its internal connection and damage for the environment.

Small mammals' community is one of the dominant population, so it has some significance role in energy and changing of natural elements, supply of constant ecosystem. Therefore, comparative studies of small mammals in different conditions at the same time can give some possibilties to discover their reaction against the environmental changes, to explain them, to forecast future tendentious. For implementation of this goal there were chosen three valleys near the lake, which can determine the general environmental condition of the area. In these areas were divided into such experimental areas with three different natural zones as steppe, dawn and forest. The field research was hold in 2002-2004 with some durations of plant vegetation from the beginning of June until the beginning of September.

According to purpose of the study we suggested the following questions:

  • Are the species on the eastern bank of lake rich?
  • Are the neighborhood small mammals communities like each other?
  • Are the dominant species synchronic? Or they are asynchronic?
  • Do they have influence in herding practices on small mammal biodiversity?
  • Does the climate change influence in the population changing?
  • Is there any relation between choice of living space and flora coverage?

Initial Results

  • A total of 18 species of small mammals were captured in the study areas. They include three species of Insectivora and eight species of Rodentia.
  • Between 2002 to 2003, the abundance of small mammals declined, 2003 was the lowest point of the population cycle. This result was consistent with studies in other parts of Mongolia.
  • Small mammals' diversity shortage is conditioned by degradation and changing of habitat environment;
  • Geographical location, population fluctuation of Paleoarctic small mammals has chaotic character;
  • Components of forest community is not depended on population fluctuation. Small mammal population, which live near the riverbank, has asynchronic character.
  • Combined factors, which caused by intensive pasture and climate change, becomes as basement for population and geographical location changing;
  • Pasture intensity demonstrates role of species in the community, which prefer to live in humidity environment;
  • Habitat area of Microtus gregalis determines desiccation process of the area;
  • Spreading of species, which prefer living in dry land, can give some possibilities in investigation and monitoring of desiccation process of the area. Based on such investigations there might be appeared ways of sustainable management of forestry zone pasture grazing;
  • The most species of northern Cricetidae are active in winter time, which are depended on term and thickness of snow coverage.

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