The European Ground Squirrel was frequent species in open and forestless countryside of the Czech Republic. But today is critically endangered and has been eradicated in many places. It was caused mainly by intensive agriculture on biotopes inhabited by The European Ground Squirrels. Near Brno Zoo there is one of the largest colonies of the European Ground Squirrel in Brno surrounding. We have unique opportunity to observe this rodent species from Sciuridae family in its natural habitat.
Another phase of the project of the Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape of Czech Republic, "The establishment of new offspring of European ground squirrel within its rescue program" was launched in 2015 with renewed cooperation from the Brno Zoo, which has identified and prepared land suitable for construction of the enclosure to breed European ground squirrels on its territory. The enclosure was built up in the quiet hinterland of the zoo, in the meadow, which is adjacent to the Natural Monument Mniší hora in an area with suitable pedologic conditions for European ground squirrels. The breeding facility has a footprint of 12x20 m and mesh 19x19 mm is recessed to a depth of 2 meters. On August 7th, 2015, we added 39 ground squirrels into the enclosure; all came from catches in the wild of Slovakia. After the very catching ground squirrels were weighed and were tissuesampled for genetic analysis. The Brno group of ground squirrels consists of 29 females and 10 males, most of the animals were born in 2014 and that is why they are ideal individuals to start breeding. Animals were regularly monitored and nourished after launch. In 2015, there were no deaths.