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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

Muskrats have been spotted in the Setun River Valley Nature Reserve and the Ostankino Natural and Historical Park. Mospriroda experts note that it is very difficult to see and photograph the animal – it is careful and avoids meeting a person.

Outwardly, the beast resembles a rat, but it is larger. He has small and high-set eyes and ears barely protruding from the fur.

The muskrat does not belong to the rare or Red Data Book animals of Moscow. In addition to the natural areas “Valley of the Setun River” and “Ostankino” (the valley of the Yauza River), this year she was noticed in the natural and historical parks “Pokrovskoe-Streshnevo”, “Moskvoretsky”, the complex “Zelenogradsky”, on the ponds in Znamenskoye Sadkakh and Severny Butovo. Several muskrat families constantly live in the natural territories of the Eastern Administrative District, including the natural and historical parks “Kosinsky”, “Izmailovo”, the forest park “Kuskovo”. Experts regularly find traces of their paws and characteristic bites on the coastal vegetation.

The habitat of the animal in the capital is explained by the fact that the main condition for comfortable living of the muskrat is a reservoir or a system of interconnected reservoirs. The animal’s lifestyle is closely connected not only with land, but also with water, which serves as a source of food. It should be noted that over the past 10 years, the Moskva River and its tributaries have become 1.5 times cleaner.

Muskrats prefer to settle along the banks of rivers, lakes and canals. Here they dig holes on sloping slopes, build dwelling huts with pantries (make food supplies for the winter). On the ground, the animal is slow, but it swims well and dives beautifully. He has poorly developed eyesight and smell, so muskrats mainly rely on hearing. The rodent feeds on young stems, leaves, roots and rhizomes of coastal and aquatic plants, in particular, reed, cattail, reeds, sedges. Less commonly – molluscs, frogs and fish fry.

The homeland of the muskrat is North America. It was brought to Europe in 1905: several pairs of animals were released into a reservoir near Prague, where they quickly settled down and began to actively reproduce. In the USSR, on the initiative of Professor Vladimir Generozov, an experiment was carried out on the acclimatization of the muskrat. For this, in 1926, a batch of animals was released on several Solovki lakes. And in August 1929, Professor Nikolai Vereshchagin conducted the same experiment on the territory of the present Tyumen region. By the end of the 1940s, the muskrat in terms of prevalence was on a par with the squirrel. From Russia, the rodent penetrated further – to China, Korea and Mongolia.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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