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In 2001, the Department for the Protection and Development of Hunting Resources at the Russian Ministry of Agriculture answered a request from the Biodiversity Conservation Centre for help in carrying out a survey of the Russian desman in the administrative areas of the Russian Federation inhabited by the animal in the past. To this end a questionnaire was drawn up and used to collect the primary evidence. The questionnaires were sent out to 25 Russian provinces and republics. The survey covered around 30,000 km of the banks of rivers, lakes and artificial reservoirs. This is the largest desman survey in the last 30 years. It employed a uniform methodology.
The survey involved counting the number of inhabited desman dens in a 1-km stretch of bank of the water body being surveyed. Analysis of the primary evidence showed that muskrats were found in almost every area where the desman lives. Therefore, a corrected ratio was used: 0.6 animals to 1 den, both up to and along the ice (c.f. Kudryashov, 1976).


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