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Speckled ground squirrel

Speckled ground squirrel featured on Belarus stamps

Belarus post issued four stamps featuring Speckled ground squirrel, as a part of WWF series.

The stamps features four different images of Speckled ground squirrel and also the WWF logo on each stamp.

Speckled ground squirrel

The speckled ground squirrel (Spermophilus suslicus) is a species of steppe rodent in the family Sciuridae.

The squirrel has dark-brown fur with white spots on its back and a short, thin tail. It grows to a length of 25 cm and a weight of 280 g.

It is found in Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. It prefers completely open upland areas with short grass. On the cultivated ground it is found only in temporary settlements.

The speckled ground squirrel is a diurnal species. It feeds on ground parts of plants.

It is active in the morning once the sun warms the area slightly, retreats to its underground den during the heat of the day, then re-emerges late in the day for another feeding bout.

Speckled ground squirrel

It likes grains of barley, rye and wheat. It willingly eats many insects. It spends winter in deep hibernation.

Back in the mid-20th century the speckled ground squirrel population was so high that different chemical agents were used to fight it.

As a result, since 1960 the number of speckled ground squirrels in Belarus has decreased by 80-90 percent.

The speckled ground squirrel is included into the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus.

Title: Speckled ground squirrel
Date of Issue: 1 September 2015
Country: Belarus
Denominations: A, N, M, H

Source: Belarus Post

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