The Russian Desman is a part of the mole family, and it lives both on land and in the water. Their number has declined because people hunted them for their fur. The Russian Desman has also been suffering because its water and the surrounding environment have become polluted.
Body length: 18 to 22 cm
Tail length: 5.1 to 5.8 cm
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
The Russian Desman lives in the south-west part of Russia and in Ukraine. It likes to live close to rivers and lakes.
The Russian Desman eats small animals that live in the water such as insects, fish, frogs, and worms.
Even though the Russian Desman is a part of the mole family, it's really good at swimming! The tip of its tail is flat, and it serves the same purpose as the oars of a boat. Its back feet are webbed as well.
The Russian Desman is close to extinction because it has been hunted for its fur!
The Russian Desman is a part of the mole family, and it lives both on land and in the water. It likes the areas close to rivers and lakes, and it catches more than half of its food in the water. To protect itself from the cold water, the Russian Desman has soft, thick fur. The biggest reason that the number of Russian Desman has decreased is because they have been hunted for this fabulous fur. It's used as material for expensive clothing. In the beginning of the 20th century, 20,000 pelts were used each year.
The Russian Desman is losing its food and home!
Since that time, it has been illegal to hunt the Russian Desman, but they have been suffering because of different problems. Dams have been built close to the areas where the Russian Desman lives. Because of this and other reasons, the water and the surrounding environment have become polluted. What's more, the Russian Desman has been chased away by the muskrats and nutria that have been brought in by humans. As a result, the Russian Desman has lost its food and home! Currently, people are trying to protect the Russian Desman by doing things like moving the animals to safe locations. However, their numbers continue to decrease.
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