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SGSII-53 the European Ground Squirrel, Management

EEAGrantsMinistry of the Environment of the Czech Republic

Supported by grants from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

This website was created with the financial support of the EEA Grants 2009–2014 and the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. Responsibility for its contents fully lies with the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR) and the website may in no circumstances be considered to be the opinion of the donor or of the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic.


Project name: Management of Selected Sites of the European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) in the Czech Republic in 2015

Project Nr.: MGSII - 53

Project location: Roudnice nad Labem, Strakonice, Kyjov, Breclav - Ladna, Prague - Letnany, Kolin, Mohelno, Miroslav

Financial support: EEA Grants, Small Grants Scheme (SGSII) entitled “Action Plans for Endangered Species II’, support area 1: “Realisation of Approved Action Plans and Management Plans for Endangered Plant and Animal Species”

Total Resources: 1,527,894 CZK incl. VAT

Financing: Financial resources from EEA Grants are assigned in the amount of 1,298,710 CZK, which is 85% of the anticipated total project expenditure. The state budget grants financial resources in the amount of 229,184 CZK, which is 15% of the anticipated total project expenditure.

Project duration: 1.4.2015 – 30.11.2016

Project partners:

  • SIT Prague, a.s. (aviation company)
  • Aeroklub MEMORIAL AIR SHOW Roudnice nad Labem, spolek (NGO)
  • Aeroklub Strakonice, z. s. (NGO)
  • Aeroklub Kyjov, o. s. (NGO)
  • Aeroklub Miroslav, o. s. (NGO)
  • Aeroklub Břeclav, o. s. (NGO)

Project guarantee:

Overall summary of the project and its impact on the species of interest

This project met all expected goals and outcomes and was officially finished on November 30, 2016.

Its main contribution lies in the implementation of Measure I. – ensuring necessary management (mowing) at eight sites of European Ground Squirrel (EGS) occurrence in the season of 2015. This represents cca 23% of all sites of EGS occurrence in the Czech Republic and at the same time about the same percentage of total estimated number of EGS individuals in the country, so management for ensured for this proportion of our population. On top of that, mowing was thanks to extension of the project also ensured in the season of 2016 at the site of Kolín airfield....(Overall summary full text).

Project Objective and Scope:

This project aimed at providing management, i.e., regular mowing or pasture, for the European Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) in 2015 at the 8 selected sites where it occurs. This is considered to be the key measure of this action plan, as the survival of the species is strongly bound to permanently low grass growth because the European Ground Squirrel primarily uses its sight for orientation and requires an overview of what is happening at the site so that it can quickly escape from possible predators.

Project Activities:

Management at Sites where the European Ground Squirrel Occurs

Management at the following sites was provided as part of this project:

Praha – Letnany, Roudnice nad Labem, Strakonice, Kyjov – Milotice, Miroslav, Breclav – Ladna, Kolin and Mohelno.

The work at most of these sites was carried out by the project partners, except in Kolin and Mohelno, where it was ensured by the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR).

As mentioned above, suitable management for the European Ground Squirrel consists of keeping the grass growth short, ideally below 15 cm over the whole active season of these animals. Given the character of the sites included in this project, which are 7 grass airfields and 1 steppe site, mowing with heavy duty equipment was selected as the proper management type. Three mows were planned at each site during the 2015 season. Based on the existing experience with the management of sites where the species occurs, the following schedule was determined for mowing: the first before the end of May, the second before the end of July and the third before the end of September. However, given the differing weather each year and the different characters of the sites, these terms were later individually specified and in the case of locality Mohelno, one mow was skipped due to long term drought. Thanks to financial savings in the project, management was then ensured again at locality Kolin in the season of 2016.    

Project Coordination and Management

The project was coordinated by an employee of the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR) – coordinator of the action plan for the European Ground Squirrel in the Czech Republic.

Project Publicity

As part of the project publicity, overall three seminars for both expert and broad public were held (an introductory seminar and two field seminars) and this website was established and updated on a regular basis. At the same time, several thematic propagation materials were produced.


The European Ground Squirrel, author: Marian Polák The European Ground Squirrel, author: Marian Polák The European Ground Squirrel, author: Jiří Bohdal

Partner logos:

Logo_Memorial_Air_Show       Aeroklub Břeclav, z.s.          Logo AK Strakonice



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