Background. Small mammals are an important component of ecosystems that have a significant biomass and have a significant impact on both the functioning of the ecosystem as a whole and its individual components. With the fluctuations in the
number of small mammals, the success of hunting for a number of fur-bearing species and the intensity of the functioning of natural foci of diseases, including those dangerous for humans, are associated. Studying the dynamics of the number of small
mammals makes it possible to find approaches to predicting the abundance of this important group of animals. The objectives of the work are to identify the species composition of small mammals in the middle Yenisey taiga, analyze their dynamics, analyze the weather conditions 2015–2017, and also consider possible causes of the decline in the number of small mammals in 2017.
Materials and methods. Materials for the work were information obtained for the period 2016–2017 in the course of field research. The study area is the Yenisei ecological station Mirnoe of the Institute for Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences. AN Severtsova of the Russian Academy of Sciences (62°18'N, 89°01' E).
Results. A total of 2861 specimens of small mammals of 18 species, representatives of the orders of the Insectivores (Eulipotyphla), Rodents (Rodentia) and Lagomorpha (Lagomorpha) were caught during the study period. A sharp drop in the number of small mammals in 2017 was found in comparison with 2016. The weather conditions of 2016–2017 were analyzed. and revealed critical for small mammalian periods.
Conclusions. The possible reason for the decrease in the number of small mammals in 2017 is the destruction of feed resources and, as a consequence, the increase in migration activity, increased competition, leading to stress, weakening of small mammals and increasing their mortality.
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