Scientists discover Romanian hamsters in the Danube Delta after 3 years of continual work there

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The National Institute for Research Study and Advancement in the Danube Delta (INCDDD) just recently revealed the discovery of 3 so-called Romanian or Dobrogean hamsters, after a three-year duration of research study in the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve.

From 2019 up till this year, the scientists and their partners (Marinov Mihai, Alexe Vasile, Dorosencu Alexandru, Bolboaca Lucian, Pocora Viorel, Pocora Irina, Chisamera Gabriel, and Sandor Attila) have actually been keeping an eye on mammals of interest in the Delta. Numerous techniques were utilized, such as selective trapping, and sensor-triggered electronic cameras.

According to the message published on the Institute’s Facebook page, the Romanian/Dobrogean hamster ( Mesocricetus newtoni) is among the 4 agents of the Mesocricetus genus. It is an uncommon types and is endemic to south-eastern Europe, where it exists just in Romania and Bulgaria, in lowland locations along the ideal bank of the lower Danube.

As its vernacular name recommends, its circulation in Romania is restricted to the area of Dobrogea where it is reported to reside in the Danube Alluvial Plain, the boundary location of the Delta, the main plateau of Dobrogea, and the greater locations of the Măcin Mountains.

Quickly identifiable by its stocky look, rounded muzzle, little round eyes, rounded ears, brief legs, and extremely brief tail, this hamster is the size of a bigger mouse, with silky fur, a greyish-brownish color on its back, and yellowish-grey fur on the sides of its body, where 3 plainly demarcated areas can be seen. It is a mainly crepuscular and nighttime animal, with higher activity in the hours after sunset, however throughout the brood-rearing duration, it might likewise be active throughout the day.

In the location of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, it is a types with minimal circulation, being reported just in a couple of locations in the location of Bestepe, Agighiol, and Capul Doloșman, where it chooses dry, steppe environments, and frequently gets in vineyards and orchards.

In ideal environments, it digs galleries 0.6 – 0.8 m deep, typically with 2 or 3 exits. Within these galleries, there is a cradle built from plant stems and twigs, and lined with yard and leaves, in addition to numerous shops of arrangements including seeds and fruit.

The Dobrogean hamster hibernates from October to March, with routine awakenings to take in food reserves collected throughout the warmer months.

According to the scientists, there are no price quotes of population pattern, however it is believed to be reducing. Elements resulting in this possible decline in number are generally environment constraint due to the growth of extensive farming.

maia@romania-insider.com

( Picture source: National Research Study and Advancement Institute “Danube Delta” Facebook page)

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