The common hamster as a synurbist: a history of settlement in european cities

Open access

Abstract

Following the expansion of agriculture in the Neolithic period, the common hamster has spread throughout Europe, and occurred abundantly until the recent past. However, in the last 45 years, populations declined markedly, partly attributable to urbanization and to major changes in agricultural practices. As a result, the species has been considered endangered at international levels as well as in most European countries. At the same time, the species has established populations in large Central and Eastern-European cities such as Vienna (Austria), Simferopol (Ukraine) and Nalchik (Russia), where it inhabits green spaces such as parks, gardens, embankments and buffer strips. In an attempt to reveal factors enabling hamsters to cope with urban environments, we reviewed historical data and habitat conditions of several urban hamster populations. We suggest that supplemental food resources and reduced predation pressure were the main factors promoting urban occurrence of common hamsters in the last 30 years. Its notable adaptability may be associated with higher stress resilience, ecological opportunism, polyphagy and higher fertility compared to species relying on non-urban habitats. The phenomenon of synurbization implies coexistence of wildlife and our urban civilization, but at the same time conflicting interests in conservation and urban development. Thus, the common hamster might serve as a model species for efficient mitigation and compensation concepts in urbanism and spatial planning.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • ANDRZEJEWSKI R. BABIÑSKA-WERKA J. GLIWICZ J. GOSZCZYÑSKI J. 1978: Synurbization processes in population of Apodemus agrarius. I. Characteristics of populations in an urbanization gradient. Acta Theriol. 23: 341-358.

  • BABIÑSKA-WERKA J. GLIWICZ J. GOSZCZYÑSKI J. 1979: Synurbization processes in a population of Apodemus agrarius. II. Habitats of the striped field mouse in town. Acta Theriol. 24: 405-415.

  • BABIÑSKA-WERKA J. MALINOWSKA B. 2008: Synurbization of yellow-necked mouse Apodemus flavicollis in Warsaw. In: Fauna Miast Ochronic Ro¿norodno.æ Biologiczn¹ w Miastach. Bydgoszcz 634 p. (in Polish with English summary).

  • BANASZEK A. ZIOMEK J. 2010: The common hamster (Cricetus cricetus L) population in the city of Lublin. Annales Universitatis Mariae Currie Sklodowska Lublin Polonia 65 (1): 59-66.

  • Boonstra R. 1994: Population cycles in microtines: the senescence hypothesis. Evol.Ecol. 8: 196-219.

  • ÈANÁDY A. 2013: New site of the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus) in the urban environment of Ko.ice city (Slovakia). Zoology and Ecology 23 (1): 61-65.

  • ENDRES J. WEBER U. 1999: Möglichkeiten und Maßnahmen zur langfristigen Erhaltung des Feldhamsters (Cricetus cricetus L.) im Nordbereich der Universität Göttingen. Dokumentation zum Pilot-Forschungsprojekt .Feldhamster. am Institut für Wildbiologie und Jagdkunde der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen 263 pp. (in German).

  • EVANS K.L. HATCHWELL B.J. PARNELL M. GASTON K.J. 2010: A conceptual framework for the colonisation of urban areas: the blackbird Turdus Merula as a case study. Biological Review 85: 643-667.

  • FEOKTISTOVA N. MESCHERSKY I. TOVPINETZ N. KROPOTKINA M. SUROV A. 2013: A history of Common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) settling in European cities.Proceedings of the 20th Meeting of the International Hamster Workgroup. The European hamster . new problems and prospects of their solution. Poznan Poland: 17.

  • FRANCESCHINI C. MILLESI E. 2007: Influences on population development in urban living European Hamsters (Cricetus cricetus). Proceedings of the 11th 14th and 15th meeting of the International Hamster Workgroup. Budapest Hungary (2003) Münsterschwarzach Germany (2006) and Kerkrade the Netherlands (2007): 14-17.

  • FRANCESCHINI C. SIUTZ C. PALME R. MILLESI E. 2007: Seasonal changes in cortisol and progesterone secretion in Common hamsters. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 152: 14-21.

  • FRANCESCHINI-ZINK C. MILLESI E. 2008: Population development and life expectancy in Common hamsters. Biosystematics and Ecology Series 25: 45-59.

  • FRANKE C. KROLL J. 1989: Jury Fränkel.s Rauchwaren-Handbuch 1988/89. 10th ed. Rifra Murrhardt: 480 p. (in German).

  • GÓRECKI A. GRYGIELSKA M. 1975: Consumption and utilization of natural foods by the Common hamster. Acta Theriol. 20 18: 237-246.

  • GRULICH I. 1977: A population outbreak of Cricetus cricetus (L.) in Eastern Slovakia during 1971-1972. Bjuleten Moscovskovo Obsestva Ispytateley Prirodi Otdel Biologitseskij 82 (6): 16-25 (in Russian with English summary).

  • HOFFMANN I.E. 2011: Distribution of Common hamsters in Vienna. MA22-1422/2010 Municipal Department for Environmental Protection 15 p. (in German with English abstract) plus map (www.wien.gv.at/umweltschutz/naturschutz/pdf/feldhamster-karte.pdf).

  • HUFNAGL S. SIUTZ C. MILLESI E. 2011: Diet composition of Common hamsters (Cricetus cricetus) living in an urban habitat. Säugetierkdl. Inf. 8: 69.78.

  • KARASEVA E.V. 1962: Study of home ranges of Common hamster in Altay by capturerecapture method. Zool. J. 41 (2): 275-285 (in Russian).

  • KARASEVA E.V. TELITSINA A.YU. SAMOILOV B.L. 1999: Moscow mammals in the past and in the present. Nauka IPEE: 244 p. (in Russian).

  • KAYSER A. STUBBE M. 2003: Untersuchungen zum Einfluss unterschiedlicher Bewirtschaftung auf den Feldhamster Cricetus cricetus (L.) einer Leit- und Charakterart der Magdeburger Börde. Tiere im Konflikt 7: 148 p. (in German).

  • KRY.TUFEK B. VOHRALÍK V. MEINIG H. ZAGORODNYUK I. 2008: Cricetus cricetus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Version 2013.2. .

  • KUCHERUK V.V. 1988: Rodents - the inhabitants of buildings and human settlements in different regions of the USSR. General and regional terriologiya. Nauka: 165-237.

  • KUPFERNAGEL C. 2003: Raumnutzung umgesiedelter Feldhamster Cricetus cricetus (LINNAEUS 1758) auf einer Ausgleichsfläche bei Braunschweig. Braunschweiger Naturkundliche Schriften 6 (4): 857-887 (in German).

  • LEBL K. MILLESI E. 2008: Yearling male Common hamsters and the trade-off between growth and reproduction. In: E. MILLESI H. WINKLER R. HENGSTBERGER R. [eds.] The Common hamster (Cricetus cricetus): Perspectives on an endangered species. Biosystematics and Ecology Series 25: 115-126.

  • LUNIAK M. 2004: Synurbization - adaptation of animal wildlife to urban development.Proceedings 4th International Urban Wildlife Symposium (W.W. SHAW K.L. HARRIS L. VAN DRUFF eds.). Tucson Univ. of Arizona: 50-55. £OPUCKI R. SZEL¥G A. 2011: Urban and suburban populations of the common hamster: differences in density and habitat preferences. In: P. INDYKIEWICZ L. JERZAK J. BOHNER B. KAVANAGH [eds.] Studies of animal biology ecology and conservation in European cities. UTP. Bydgoszcz: 525-532.Moscow Government 2001: Red Data Book of the City of Moscow. 1st ed. ABF: 622 p.

  • POVOLNÝ D. .USTEK Z. 1982: An attempt at a methodical separation of the concepts .synanthrope. and .Kulturfolger.. Ekológia (CSSR) 1: 13-24.

  • NEUMANN K. MICHAUX J. MAAK S. JANSMAN A.H. KAYSER A. MUNDT G. GATTERMANN R. 2005: Genetic spatial structure of European common hamsters (Cricetus cricetus) - a result of repeated range expansion and demographic bottlenecks.Mol. Ecol. 14: 1473.1483.

  • NECHAY G. 2000: Status of hamster: Cricetus cricetus Cricetulus migratorius Mesocricetus newtoni and other hamster species in Europe. Nature and Environment series.Council of Europe Publishing 106 Strasbourg: 73 p. NIETHAMMER J. 1982: Cricetus cricetus (Linnaeus 1758) . Feldhamster. In: J. NIETHAMMER F. KRAPP [eds.] Handbuch der Säugetiere Europas. Wiesbaden Bd. 2/1 Rodentia II: 7-28 (in German).

  • PELIKÁN J. ZEJDA J. HOMOLKA M. 1983: Mammals in the urban agglomeration of Brno.Acta Sc. Nat. Brno 17 (9): 1-49.

  • RUSIN M.YU. BANASZEK A. MISHTA A.V. 2013: The common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) in Ukraine: evidence for population decline. Folia Zool. 62 (3): 207-213.

  • RUTZ CH. 2008: The establishment of an urban bird population. J. Anim. Ecol. 77: 1008-1019.

  • SCHMELZER E. MILLESI E. 2008: Surface activity patterns in a population of European hamsters (Cricetus cricetus) in an urban environment. In: G. NECHAY [ed.] The Common Hamster in Europe. Ecology management genetics conservation reintroduction. Proceedings Meeting of the International Hamster Workgroup: 19-22.

  • SINCLAIR A.R.E. 1989: Population regulation in animals. In: J.M. CHERRETT [ed.] Ecological concepts. Blackwell Oxford: 197.241.

  • SIUTZ C. MILLESI E. 2012: Effects of birth date and natal dispersal on faecal glucocorticoid concentrations in juvenile Common hamsters. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. 178: 323.329.

  • SMITH A.T. XIE Y. HOFFMANN R.S. LUNDE D. MACKINNON J. WILSON D.E. WOZENCRAFT W.C. [eds.] 2008: A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton University Press Princeton: 247 p.

  • SPITZENBERGER F. BAUER K. 2001: Hamster Cricetus cricetus (Linnaeus 1758). In: F. SPITZENBERGER [ed.] Die Säugetierfauna Österreichs. Grüne Reihe des Bundesministeriums für Land- und Forstwirtschaft Umwelt und Wasserwirtschaft 13: 406-415 (in German).

  • SUROV A.V. BOGOMOLOV P.L. 2013: Tendencies in the dynamics of the fauna of small mammals under conditions of changing urban environment. Proceedings of the 1st Eurasian Pest Management Conference Moscow Institute of Pest Management: 274-278.

  • SUROV A. FEOKTISTOVA N. TOVPINETZ N. SIUTZ C. HOFFMANN I. 2013: Comparison of Common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) habitats in Vienna (Austria) and Simferopol (Ukraine). Proceedings of the 20th Meeting of the International Hamster Workgroup. The European hamster . new problems and prospects of their solution. Poznan Poland: 34.

  • SUROV A.V. TOVPINETZ N.N. 2008: Population of Common hamster in Simferopol (Ukraine): fast formation of synanthropic adaptations. Proceedings of the 11th 14th and 15th meeting of the International Hamster Workgroup: Budapest Hungary (2003) Münsterschwarzach Germany (2006) and Kerkrade the Netherlands (2007): 17.

  • SUTHERLAND W.J. FRECKLETON R.P. GODFRAY H.C.J. BEISSINGER S.R. BENTON T. CAMERON D.D. CARME Y. COOMES D.A. COULSON T. EMMERSON M.C. HAILS R.S. HAYS G. C. HODGSON D.J. HUTCHINGS M.J. JOHNSON D. JONES J.P.G. KEELING M.J. KOKKO H. KUNIN W.E. LAMBIN X. LEWIS O.T. MALHI Y. MIESZKOWSKA N. MILNER-GULLAND E.J. NORRIS K. PHILLIMORE A.B. PURVES D.W. REID J.M. REUMAN D.C. THOMPSON K. TRAVIS J.M.J. TURNBULL L.A. WARDLE D.A. WIEGAND T. 2013: Identification of 100 fundamental ecological questions. J. Ecol. 101 (1): 58.67.

  • TELITSINA A.YU. KARASEVA E.V. STEPANOVA N.V. SUROV A.V. 1994: Common hamster in Moscow.Rodent.s synanthropy. Materials of the 2nd meeting Ivanovo: 92-100 (in Russian). THORNS H.-J. 1998: Die Göttinger Feldhamster-Story. BUND Landesverband Niedersachsen e.V. BUNDmagazin 4: www.bund-niedersachsen.de/service/bundmagazin/ (in German).

  • TOVPINETZ N.N. ALEXEEV A.F. 1992: Distribution and ecology of the common features of the hamster in the Crimea. Rodent.s synanthropy and rodent control.Moscow IPEE: 393-407 (in Russian).

  • TOVPINETZ N.N. EVSTAFIEV I. KARASEVA E. 2006: Habitude to synanthropy of common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) based on investigations in the Crimea. Fauna in anthropogenic environments. Luhansk Ukraine: 136-145 (in Russian).

  • VOHRALÍK V. 2011: New records of Cricetus cricetus in the Czech Republic (Rodentia: Cricetidae). Lynx n.s. (Praha) 42: 189-196 (in Czech with English summary).

  • WEINHOLD U. 1999: Cricetus cricetus (Linnaeus 1758). In: A.J. MITCHELL-JONES G. AMORI W. BOGDANOWICZ B. KRY.TUFEK P.J.H. REIJNDERS F. SPITZENBERGER M. STUBBE J.B.M. THISSEN V.VOHRALÍK J. ZIMA [eds.] The Atlas of European Mammals. Academic Press London: 202.203.

  • WILSON D.E. REEDER D.A.M. 2005: Mammal Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. 3rd ed. V. 2. Baltimore The J. Hopkins University Press: 2142 p.

Search
Journal information
Cited By
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 460 322 29
PDF Downloads 129 76 3