South Russian dressing - cute, but independent animal

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South Russian dressing Vormela peregusna Marbled polecatIn the world fauna, the weasel family unites 64 species of predatory animals and animals. Within Russia, it is represented by 18 species, on the pages of the Red Book there are 5 species that are in varying degrees of danger.

One of them is bandaging. People have noticed the dressing for a long time, but its gradual disappearance is only recently. To allow the death of such an amazingly interesting animal is an unforgivable sin before nature.

The scientific name of this animal, apparently, came from the old folk: perevoshchik, and the most figurative - bandaging. In its direct meaning, the word "bandage" is everything that is used for tying and bandaging (braid, twine, lace, ribbon, belt). Our animal's muzzle is "tied up", but not with braid or ribbon. His head color is bright, contrasting, consisting of black and pure white "patchwork stripes". The transverse sling crosses the eye area and runs in a wide black stripe.

South Russian dressing Vormela peregusna Marbled polecatWhite ears and white hair on the crown form the upper dressing in the form of an original "kokoshnichka". And below, between the ears, there are black and white stripes, a sort of frontal bandage, as if from a headache. In a word, like an animal from an infirmary. His "fur coat" has bizarre patterns, specks, stripes, specks, edges, white, black, red, yellow and brown colors with different shades. Our animal seems to be in a carnival outfit. But there are no jokes in nature. The dressing suit is her camouflage robe. It is not standard, and the coloration of the animals within the species is noticeably variable and individual.

The bandage lives with us in dry steppes, semi-deserts and deserts in open areas, where it is necessary to hide well from enemies and where a camouflage robe is needed in order to discreetly get close to its prey.

Bandaging area: South-Eastern Europe, Anterior, Central and partly Central Asia. It covers the south of the European part, Crimea, the North Caucasus, Eastern Transcaucasia, the plains of Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

South Russian dressing Vormela peregusna Marbled polecatZoologists distinguish three subspecies of dressing:

a) South Russian - found on the territory of Ukraine, Kalmykia, Ciscaucasia, Georgia and Armenia. There is no continuous settlement of these areas, the animal inhabits separate areas;
b) Semirechye - occurs in separate areas to the east of the Karatau ridge (northwestern spur of the Tien Shan), in Semirechye, in the pre-Altai steppes and mountain steppes of the Southern Altai;
c) Trans-Caspian - found in the western part of Central Asia. This subspecies is poorly studied, and its condition requires many clarifications.

South Russian dressing Vormela peregusna Marbled polecatThe bandage is a small animal. Body length - 27-35 centimeters, tail - 18-20. Females from males are indistinguishable in clothing. The tail is very fluffy. The general appearance is like a ferret, dexterous in movement. The voice is somewhat different - ferrets squeal, clatter, and bandages hum and grumble in a special way.

During the day it was difficult to notice the dressing, she sometimes showed her muzzle from under the furniture, where she climbed as if into a shelter, there she froze until dark. But when night fell, she got out of the shelter and went “hunting” to the kitchen, where the owner left her a portion of meat. She lived for several months, but at night she was so busy, there was no rest from her. Therefore, she entered the zoo as a gift.

South Russian dressing Vormela peregusna Marbled polecatIn nature, dressings usually settle in places where gophers, jerboas, hamsters, gerbils and other rodents form colonies. The bandaging lives in the "apartments" of these animals, having expelled, of course, the legitimate owners and somewhat re-equipping the dwelling according to their taste and needs. The bandage is a smart, brave, fast and ... unsociable animal. She avoids cultural landscapes and human proximity.The development of virgin lands, semi-deserts and deserts by people deprives the dressing of a quiet life, its natural food and shelters. To this should be added the negative impact of rodent control chemicals in the development of previously untouched land areas. Poisons destroy rodents, and with them their natural exterminators - dressings.

South Russian dressing Vormela peregusna Marbled polecatIn the litter, the dressing has up to 8 cubs.

The number of dressings in our time has become very low. So, on the territory of Ukraine, they were registered about 100 individuals, in the Southern Balkhash region 15 years ago, only single tracks were found on survey routes 8-10 kilometers long. There is no more detailed information in recent years. In a number of nature reserves located in the dressing range, it is protected. Registration on the pages of the Union Red Book should somehow ease her fate. As for individual random encounters with this animal, the advice is simple: watch if the opportunity presents itself, but at the same time - your hands at the seams.

I. P. Sosnovsky

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