Yury A. Bazhenov, Researcher of the Institute of Natural Resources, Ecology and Cryology of the SB RAS (672002, Russia, Chita, subscriber's box 1032); Researcher of the State Nature Biosphere Reserve «Daursky»; e-mail:

Reference to article

Bazhenov Yu.A. 2019. Current status of the Marmota sibirica (Sciuridae, Rodentia) population in Southeast Transbaikalia. Nature Conservation Research 4(1): 83–92.

Section Research articles

The Mongolian marmot or tarbagan (Marmota sibirica) is classified as Endangered (A2ad) on the Global IUCN Red List. We estimated the species status in Southeast Transbaikalia (Russia), the extreme northeastern part of the tarbagan's range. The population has been included in national and regional Red Data Books as Endangered taxon, too. Modern literature data on the status of the Mongolian marmot population in the region are scant and contradictory. In 2012–2018, the Mongolian marmot range has been investigated in the region. The abundance of this species has been established. Special attention has been attended to Protected Areas. As a result of this study, a total of 9200–11 500 adult Mongolian marmots (excluding young individuals) have been counted in Southeast Transbaikalia. The federal Sanctuary «Dzeren valley» is the key Protected Area for the Mongolian marmot's conservation and restoration in the region. In 2018, there were about 2000 family groups of the marmots in this sanctuary. The crucial tarbagan group in the sanctuary inhabits the valleys of the Nerchinsk ridge. An appropriate protection and very suitable natural conditions of this area are favourable for the restoration of the Mongolian marmot. A mean density of the Marmota sibirica population (2.0–3.0 habitable holes / ha) had been established there before the mid-XX century. The Mongolian marmot is successfully protected in some other Protected Areas: Daursky State Nature Reserve, Sokhondinsky State Nature Reserve, regional sanctuary «Mountain steppe», regional sanctuary «Oldondinsky», and regional sanctuary «Sredneargunsky». The species is almost extinct in the regional sanctuary «Aginsk steppe». More than half of all Marmota sibirica individuals in Southeast Transbaikalia are counted in Protected Areas. A presumed marmot migration from Mongolia to Zabaikalsky district, and to Borzinsky district from Zabaikalsky Krai (Russia) does not occur, because marmots have been exterminated in Mongolia nearby this part of the Russian border. Despite hunting prohibition, Marmota sibirica has been trapped in the settlement of Dornod (Mongolia) near the border with Zabaikalsky Krai (Russia).


abundance, Mongolian marmot, Protected Area, Red Data Book, Zabaikalsky Krai

Artice information

Received: 05.09.2018. Revised: 30.11.2018. Accepted: 19.01.2019.

The full text of the article

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