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Mongolian Endangered Species : Tarbagan

Animal

Tarbagan, also known as the Siberian marmot, is found primarily in Mongolia. It is a kind of rodent. Rodents are known to move vertically within range in search of pristine vegetation during the hot season, allowing them to climb mountains 800-1000m. However, its population has decreased significantly in recent years, and it has been designated as an endangered species. This marmot has brown or light brown fur and a very bushy tail.

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Habitat

It lives in Mongolia, China and Russia. The main habitats of this species are open grasslands, mountain slopes, and valleys.

Characteristic

Tarbagan inhabits grasslands, shrublands, mountain grasslands, alpine grasslands, open grasslands, forest steppes, mountain slopes, semi-deserts, river basins, and valleys. Tarbagan is a social animal that forms a colony. Tarbagan is often foraged at high altitudes. It weighs 6-8 kg and is 50-60 cm long. Their tails are bushy and occupy about half the length of their body. The fur is mainly brown, medium in length and finely textured. On the dorsal side, the fur is light brown to pale rusty, often pale whitish yellowish. The color of the fur varies slightly from season to season, from light grayish brown in spring to reddish brown in late autumn.

Ecology

Tarbagan mate within the group. It breeds within the colony in which they live. Form a monogamous relationship. The gestation period is 40-42 days. It gives birth at the end of May and from the burrow in June. You can give birth to up to 8 pups. The lifespan of marmots is not clear. It is said to be 13 to 15 years in the wild and 7 to 21 years in captivity. Hibernate in winter and use burrows for protection. Closes the burrow during hibernation.

Endangered species

Marmot populations have been severely affected and are still declining as humans hunt for marmots as meat and skin. It has been declining in the long run, with a 70% decline in the 1990s. This decline is primarily due to human business (food, fur, sports) and illness (plague). Most notably, they are hunted for Tarbagan skin. Between 1906 and 1994, 104.2 million skins were prepared in Mongolia alone. In addition, fears of spreading plague have led to large-scale extermination campaigns that have hunted both infected and healthy marmots. This species is classified as an endangered species by the IUCN Red List. Tarbagan is currently protected under Mongolian protected area and hunting laws, but with little success.

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