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On the territory of the Valdai national Park meet about 50 mammal species, at least 180 birds, 5 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians and about 40−45 species of fish. Of the larger mammals the most common elk and wild boar is not uncommon for brown bear and wolf. Ordinary hare, beaver, squirrel, Fox, raccoon dog, marten, weasel, ermine, European mink, badger. Much rarer flying squirrel, otter, forest polecat, lynx. The most common reptiles in the Park — viviparous lizard and adder. Slow worm, sand lizard and grass snake are much rarer. Amphibians are represented by common Triton, gray toad, common frog, grass, moor pond and lake frogs.

Moose (lat. Alces Alces)

Moose — the largest deer (body length up to 3 m, height 2.5 m). In the early twentieth century moose were a rare sight everywhere except in remote areas of Siberia. Then the number, partly due to the hunting ban, is rapidly increasing. Now the elk is found in many parks and even on the outskirts of many cities. In the 90 years the rise of population ceased, and sometimes moose again became rare. The moose inhabits forests, willow groves on the banks of lakes, floodplains. In snowless time elk most often you can see overgrown clearings and burnt areas, bogs, along the banks of forest rivers and lakes in winter in forests with dense undergrowth. From a place where snow depth in winter is greater than 70 cm, sometimes moose migrate to winter for hundreds of kilometers. The moose feeds on leaves of trees and shrubs and also grass, mushrooms and berries; in winter, moves to forage conservation, the bark of young aspen trees and pine trees. Such nutrient-poor food does not provide it with enough energy. Elk saves manpower, in late winter with maturation for up to 18 hours a day, but still much thinner in the spring. Where moose too much, they can severely damage forest planting. In hot weather, the moose often is taken neck-deep in a lake or quiet river, where saved from the mosquitoes and eating the succulent aquatic vegetation. Elk are active at any time of day, but most often grazing before sunrise and after sunset, and in the crowded places at night. Singly or in small groups in the winter season to 10 goals. In the summer the elk are much more agile. Males drop their antlers in early winter, and new ones begin to grow only in the spring and cleaned from the skin in August. Long legs and wide-spreading hoofs enable moose to walk through the mud and snow, but in late winter they hardly move, passing less than a kilometer a day. At this time, they often gather in certain areas of the forest, the so-called elk camp, where the tread of the dense network of trails. When the danger of a moose because of the huge physical strength rapidly makes its way through the snow of any depth to the nearest trail and goes through it.

The wild boar (lat. Sus scrofa)

Boar or wild boar — omnivorous cloven-hoofed ruminant mammal is not of the genus of pigs. Boars are kept in small herds, the old males and females with piglets roam alone. During the night a flock may take up to 5 km, rarely more. Sometimes when lack of food makes mass migrations of hundreds of kilometers. Day is prone to a remote corner of the forest or reed roof supports, on the Sunny side of the mountain. Prone wild boar digs up the snow to the ground, trying to lie on a layer of twigs, moss and dry grass. Females before farrowing makes a cozy nest with soft bedding and a roof made of branches. There are maturation and in stacks. In addition to shelters and traces of the presence of wild boars in the forest, testify to the field — plots of plowed soil, where the beasts were fed; and shreds of bristles on stones and trunks of trees, on which they love to scratch. They are also the baths — deep puddles, or pits filled with water and mud. The wild boar feeds on rhizomes and bulbs of plants, fallen fruit, nuts, acorns, worms and insects and other small animals: calves from nests of rodents, snakes, frogs, eggs and nestlings of birds. Finding a carcass, a herd of wild boars can be a lot of days to stay around, until you gnaw the carcass to the bone. Food is produced mainly from forest litter and soil, which digs hard snout and fangs. In the winter often feed in swamps, where the soil is not frozen. The hooves of wild boar can be widely apart, so he walks through the swamps. But in deep snow because of the short legs he has to proprivate breast furrow or move heavy jumps. In addition, the soil freezing to almost deprive him of food available. Therefore, in winter wild boar are fed little and lives mostly at the expense of fat stores, and many animals die from exhaustion. But short legs and wedge-shaped body and a large physical strength allow the boar at high speed to break through the fallen trees and thick scrub, impenetrable to other animals. Adult strong bill is able to cope even with a few wolves, but boars, especially the young, often die from them. Occurs from wild boar domestic pig. There are hybrids of wild boar and domestic pig, which can be recognized by spotty coloring, floppy ears or a light patch. The majority of the peoples of Europe, the wild boar has long been considered a symbol of physical power and fertility. In ancient times, the hunter was considered a grown man only after killing his first boar. But the man who could not control his desires and emotions, could, according to legend, he turns into a wild or domestic pig.

The wolf (lat. Canis lupus)

Wolf, or gray wolf, or common wolf is a carnivorous mammal of the canine family. Wolf — a large animal with a fluffy tail. The length of the body 1−1. 6 m, a tail of 35−50 cm timber wolves are gray, usually with dark «saddle» on the back. The wolf is distributed throughout the country, except for some Islands, but in Central and southern European part of Russia are very rare. In areas with snowy winters he avoids continuous forests, penetrating into them on the roads, hunting trails and river valleys. Most of the year, wolves roam singly and in family groups called packs. A pack usually consists of two experienced animals, and several of fingerlings, it can join young from last year’s litter and the occasional loners. Winter flocks usually consist of 5−12 animals, but occasionally in places with abundance of game, going up to 40 wolves. In wolf packs all animals have a certain social status. The relationship between the neighboring families and members of the pack is maintained through howling, which can contain quite varied information. Even man is able to learn to determine by ear how much to the howling group of animals and what they are about age. The wolf feeds on ungulates, rodents, less of all kinds of game from insects to sleeping in the dens of bears, garbage and carrion, and vegetable foods. Interestingly, when new types of production wolf sometimes long hesitates to touch her. So, when the settlement of the wild boar in the Western Sayan mountains the wolf in for 7 years does not cut it this is an unfamiliar beast, and some boars even learned to walk in winter for flocks of wolves, picking up the remains of prey. The wolf is very strong, agile beast, runs a day to 25−40 km, can carry to the den of the sheep, throwing it on the back. Hitting a herd of sheep or camels, wolves often kill more than they can carry, although for hunting wild ungulates, they rarely get the opportunity. The wolf is one of the most popular characters in the folklore of all peoples of Russia, and the nomadic people living by hunting and fishing, and the mountain peoples, the wolf generally represents the mind and the nobility, and settled farmers and pastoralists — the evil and aggressiveness. Wolf pack in the view of many peoples as a symbol of fighting squads, and the beast is a symbol of the God of war. In addition, for thousands of years in many Nations of the world there is a belief that the perpetrators of the crime or bitten by a wolf man can turn into a werewolf (the ancient Slavs this werewolf was called volkodlak). The peoples of the North, herds of reindeer which carry a lot of damage from the wolves, still are to this animal without prejudice, what is characteristic for Slavs and other inhabitants of Europe. Northerners have long been aware of the role of the wolf in nature. For example, according to the myths of the Saami of Lapland, the reindeer was created by the goddess of pastures Rateike. But the deer are excessively multiplied, destroyed all the moss and began to get sick and die from hunger. Then, to save the tundra and the Sami, the God of justice Kauri created wolves. Outside of Russia and the countries of Central Asia, the wolf is everywhere rare and is protected.

Brown bear (lat. Ursus arctos)

The brown bear is a carnivorous mammal of the bear family; one of the largest and most dangerous terrestrial predators. Brown bear is a forest animal. Usual place of habitation in Russia — a solid forests with fallen trees and ash with a dense growth of hardwoods, shrubs and herbs. Kept usually bear a single, female with cubs of different ages. Males and females are territorial, private plot takes on average between 73 and 414 km, and in males it is about 7 times more than females. The boundaries of the area marked zapakowane labels and «bullies» — with scratches on prominent trees. The brown bear is omnivorous, but his diet for ¾ plant: berries, acorns, nuts, roots, tubers and stems of grasses. Active brown bear during the day, but most mornings and evenings. Seasonal cycles of life pronounced. By winter, the bear fattens subcutaneous fat (up to 180 kg) and in the fall lies in the den. Dens are located in a dry place, in most cases, in the pits under the protection of the windbreak or under twisted roots of trees. Less bears dig a shelter in the ground or occupy caves and crevices. Bears are favorite wintering places, where are they going from year to year with the whole neighborhood. In different parts of the winter sleep lasts from 75 to 195 days. Depending on climatic and other conditions the bears are in dens from October — November till March — April, 5−6 months. Longer all live in the dens of female bears with cubs, less — old males. During the period of hibernation, the bear loses up to 80 kg of fat. Contrary to popular belief, winter sleep brown bear shallow; his body temperature during sleep varies between 29 and 34 degrees. In case of danger the animal wakes up and leaves the den, going in search of a new one. Sometimes the bear has no time for autumn as it should be fattening, so in winter wakes up and begins to wander in search of food; such bears are called rods. Despite an awkward look, a brown bear runs extremely fast — at a speed over 55 km/h, excellent swimmer and in her youth it climbs trees (for old age he’s doing it reluctantly). One blow of his paw a raving bear is able to break the back of the bull, bison or Buffalo. In the mythology of most peoples of Eurasia and North America bear serves as a liaison between the human world and the animal world. Primitive hunters considered binding, having obtained a bear to perform the ritual, asking forgiveness of the spirit of the victim. In some places, the killing of a bear with firearms and is still considered a sin. The ancient ancestors of the European peoples were so afraid of the bear, to pronounce his name arctos (from the Aryan in V-I centuries BC, the later Latin Nations) and Mechka (the Slavs in the V-IX centuries BC) was forbidden. Instead, they used nicknames: ursus the Romans, bear the ancient Germans, Wendy or bear the Slavs. Over the centuries these names have become names, which in turn was also banned hunters and replaced by nicknames (in Russian, Mikhailo Ivanovich, Toptygin, Owner). In the early Christian tradition, the bear was considered the animal of Satan.

Mountain hare (lat. Lepus timidus)

Zajcevye — a family of mammals from the order of the hares, which includes the hares proper (mainly the genus Lepus, but also Pronolagus and Caprolagus) and rabbits (the rest of the genera).It inhabits everywhere, except for the south of the European part of Russia and the Caucasus, in tundra (often shrubby), forests (often coniferous), birch pins, floodplain willows, overgrown felling and burnt, sometimes in steppe shrubs. For feeding often goes to the fields and to the steppe, but the hiking is only under the protection of trees and bushes. Winter and summer trample the network of trails from the places of fat (feeding) to the couches. In winter, they arrange stays under the protection of snowdrifts, snow holes and recesses, and sometimes closed shelters in the snow, from which, in danger, suddenly jump out, breaking through the ceiling. In the summer, they arrange the under the bushes or openly. Sweaty glands in the hares are concentrated between the fingers, and their tracks smell strongly (a good hunting dog takes a trace and in 8−9 hours). Therefore, before going to the couch, they usually confuse the tracks, making loops, twins, notes. Such a trail, hare Malik, as the hunters say, is a tricky rebus for both man and dog or fox. Although the hares do not have permanent shelters, they usually live in a small area and pass for less than 2.5 km per day. Nor usually do not dig (except in the snow), spend the day under bushes, in a shallow pit, less often in rodent burrows. Active, mostly at dusk and at night. In summer, hares feed on herbaceous plants, in winter — more often bark and shoots of trees and shrubs, sometimes mushrooms. Hares often lack mineral salts, so they eat snow that gets urine. The image of a hare in Russian and European mythologies is very ambiguous. On the one hand, it is associated with death: in the tales Koshchei’s death keeps, signs are advised to avoid meeting him (see, for example, the novel in poems «Eugene Onegin» and the legend of a meeting with the hare of Alexander Pushkin). On the other hand, the hare is found in wedding songs as a metaphor for fertility and conjugal love. In some fairy tales, the hare acts as an example of weakness or cowardice. The opponent of the hare is a wolf.

Fox (lat. Vulpes Vulpes)

Ordinary, or red fox — a predatory mammal of the dog family, the most common and largest species of the genus foxes. It inhabits everywhere, except for the arctic tundra and some islands, but in regions with snowy winters it avoids continuous taiga massifs. Like most carnivores, foxes usually do not hunt near their lair, so duck-pecans sometimes safely remove chicks in branches of residential foxes. The foxes themselves often settle on the «outskirts» of badger towns. It feeds on rodents, rarely hares, birds, insects, carrion and garbage, berries. Hunting methods are extremely diverse. On the outskirts of cities, for example, live foxes — cats, cunning animals, hunting mostly on rats and stray cats. Sooner or later the fox «picks up the key» to almost any prey. A hedgehog, it sometimes rolls into the water to force it to turn around. Wild geese are caught together: one animal jumps and skates on the ground distracts the flock, and the other at this time is selected for the distance of the jump. Steppen foxes travel tens of kilometers along power lines, picking up the remains of the production of buzzards, moons and owls, as well as corpses of birds that have broken on the wires. His main prey — rodents — the fox deftly digs from under the snow by ear (mouse). In the years when there are few rodents, it has to largely switch to food garbage along roads and landfills. Hunts around the clock, but more often in the twilight. On ponds where there are fish zamory, it catches fish from fishermen left or vydroj holes. On spawning rivers catches salmon. Witty and resourcefulness of foxes attracted the attention of a man for a long time. Red fox is a very common character of folklore of different countries of the world. In European countries, she, as a rule, embodies cunning and female cunning, performing in quite diverse roles: from treacherous scoundrels (as in a number of Russian fairy tales) to clever advisors (as in Boris Shergin’s fairy tale «Poig and the Fox»). One of the most famous fox characters is Lis Renard — a character of the classic medieval Roman poem about Fox. In the East, it is widely believed that foxes are able to turn into charming women, seductive male assassins. Similar ideas about fox-werewolves (cisunes) existed in Europe. In Mesopotamian mythology, the fox is a sacred animal. She serves the goddess Ki as a messenger. In Finland, a fox is a symbol of cunning, but not evil. In Japanese mythology there are fox-werewolves kitsune, who can take human form. They have great knowledge and master the magic. Later, kitsune became popular in literature, cinema and video games. Spirits, similar to kitsune, also appear in Chinese and Korean myths.

River-beaver (lat. Castor fiber)

Ordinary beaver or river beaver is a semi-aquatic mammal of a detachment of rodents; One of the two modern representatives of the beaver family. The largest rodent of the Old World fauna and the second largest rodent after capybar. Inhabits the banks of slow rivers and lakes with thickets of deciduous forest. By the beginning of the XX century it was almost exterminated, but now thanks to protection and resettlement measures it occurs almost throughout the forest zone and in the forest-steppe of the European part of Russia, in Western Siberia, the Baikal region, and brought to the lower reaches of the Amur. They live in families. Steep banks build holes, and where the banks are flat — huts made of silt stuck up to 3−5 m in height with an underwater entrance. In places with a variable level of water, dams are built from trunks and branches, bound with mud and clay. The dams reach 200 m in length and 7 m in width; Sometimes beavers dig in the gentle banks of narrow channels, through which the harvested wood forage is fused to the pond. In case of danger, they dive, giving an alarm signal — a loud slapping of the tail on the water. In winter, the activity of beavers sharply decreases, and they spend a considerable part of their time in a half-sleep — drowsiness. Feed on bark and thin branches of trees and shrubs, water and coastal herbaceous plants. In treeless areas can do without wood fodder, but they necessarily need grassy. From trees prefer aspen, willow, bird cherry, sometimes eat alder and birch. Conifers rarely eat, apparently, as medicinal. Beavers are able to quickly drop small trees, leaving hemp with conical top. Occasionally they bite and thick trunks. Feed and work mostly at night. For the winter make a large supply of branches on the bottom, without which in winter, when the pond freezes, people die of hunger. Beavers often eat their own litter to get proteins and vitamins, which are produced by bacteria living in the large intestine. The appearance of beavers in rivers and especially the construction of dams has a beneficial effect on the ecology of aquatic and riverine biotopes. In the formed flood, numerous mollusks and aquatic insects settle, which in turn attract the desman and waterfowl. Birds on the legs bring fish eggs. Fish, being in favorable conditions, begins to multiply. Fallen trees serve as a food for hares and many ungulates, which gnaw the bark from trunks and branches. The juice flowing in the spring from the sharpened trees is loved by butterflies and ants, followed by birds. Protection of beavers is used by muskrats, in their huts together with the owners are often settled muskrats. Damages contribute to the purification of water, reducing its turbidity; sludge is retained in them. At the same time, beaver dams can damage human buildings. There are cases when the spills arranged by the beavers flooded and blurred streets and railroad tracks and even served as the cause of the crashes. From time immemorial the beaver was an honored animal. There is evidence of the existence of beaver cults belonging to the beginning of the III century. In pagan mythology, the beaver symbolized the connection with the higher worlds. «Heather beaver» — they liked to say in Russia.

Squirrel (lat. Sciurus vulgaris)

Squirrels is a genus of rodents of the squirrel family. Inhabit the tall forests on all forest and forest-steppe zones up to the city’s parks, introduced to the Caucasus. Spend the night in hollows, in the forest often builds the nest is a spherical nest of twigs with a diameter of half a meter with 1−2 lateral entrances, lined inside with moss and lichens. Most often it is located on spruce. Sometimes insulates for yourself magpie’s nest. In strong frosts of the protein may several days do not leave the nest. Before leaving for the night, many whites confuse the marks, though not as cleverly as hares. Active day, especially morning and evening. Dormant in winter, not fall. Feed on conifer seeds, mushrooms, buds, shoots, nuts, insects. Occasionally eat birds and birds ' eggs. Feed on trees and on the ground, unable to make long migrations on the crown, almost without touching the ground. Taiga squirrels feed mainly on seeds of conifers; important role in their diet during the lean season play cones dropped on the ground lastami, and the seeds of stocks nutcrackers. The squirrel also makes stocks for the winter. She apparently does not remember their location, but finds them in winter, by accident, when examining his plot. B deciduous forest main food nuts and acorns. In lean years the squirrels eat spruce buds, biting off the end twigs and throwing them in abundance on the snow («cut» spruce). In Russian folklore, the squirrel is a harbinger of failure. So, according to popular belief if crossing the road «protein — worse». Also in many places of Central Russia (the province of Yaroslavl, Tver, Vladimir) there is a belief that ran into the city or village squirrel foretells a fire from a lightning (sometimes just a fire). There is an ancient belief that if you kill the squirrel — a self-fulfilling yourself in trouble. The source of the beliefs covered with darkness of obscurity. But maybe it has something to do with the legend that the squirrel was the only animal who saw Adam and eve ate the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Legend has it that in those days the squirrel had a rat tail. Terrified by the fall, she covered his eyes with the tail, not to see this. Since all proteins have the lush and lovely tails.

The raccoon dog (lat. Nyctereutes procyonoides)

The raccoon dog is a carnivorous mammal of the Canidae (dog). Inhabits the South of the Russian Far East; introduced in the European part of Russia, to Sakhalin, and Caucasus, which is now widespread. It inhabits mixed forests and shores of water bodies. In the European part of the country and in the far East in winter falls into a dream, but often comes out in the thaw. Digs shallow burrows or uses a variety of shelters. The howling raccoon dogs jerky whistles, more like the voice of a bird than a beast; in Japan anotomical sometimes kept in houses for the sake of their beautiful «singing». It feeds on small rodents, birds and bird eggs, frogs, fish, insects, bulbs and rhizomes of plants, berries. It mainly hunts during the day. Raccoon dog — Tanuki — known character Japanese folklore. Along with Fox — kitsune — this beast was considered to be a shapeshifter, able to appear in different forms. Kitsune — the figure of a demonic creature deceitful and treacherous. But, just as in «the Tales of uncle Remus» on the Fox trick there was justice in the face of prompt Brer rabbit, and in Japanese legend there is a hero who «can not handle» the treacherous kitsune. This is Tanuki. Some outstanding legendary Tanuki is the Japanese built temples and worshiped as gods. I think that the Tanuki could fool people, especially monks, but not from malice, but for the sake of jokes. These transformations symbolized the Buddhist idea that the perfect may turn out awful and Vice versa, they are one — illusion. In one of the ancient Japanese tales Tanuki to play local sage, takes the famous image of the Buddhist deity Fugen. The sage was delighted, he saw the deity, and even a white elephant, where Fugen’s always traveling. Sage shares his joy with the commoners, and Tanuki in their pranks went in earnest, and again appeared before the audience in the guise of deity. However, there were incredulous hunter. If this deity, thought the hunter, the arrow will harm him, and if the deceiver, the deception will immediately reveal. The hunter shot an arrow at the vision. It disappeared with a terrible howl. In the morning residents found pierced by an arrow of a dead Tanuki. Sorry, but there is a limit even to jokes. Of course, the meaning of this tale is much deeper. This comparison of approaches to life left in the theoretical reasoning of a wise man and a practical hunter.

Pine marten (lat. Martes Martes)

Marten, or seledochka — mammals of the weasel family. Inhabits dense tall forests of the European part of Russia, Ural, Western Siberia to Surgut in the East, in the mountain forests of the Caucasus. Some places found in city parks (for example, in Moscow is in Tsaritsyno and the Sparrow hills). In recent years, supplanted by sable with the average Obi, but appeared in the forest steppes of southwestern Siberia. Very flexible, fast predators, mostly nocturnal. Live in the nests dens used all year round for recreation, and in severe frost they spend most of the time. The lair satisfied in the hollow, sometimes in the old nest of a magpie or squirrel. Feeds on rodents, hares, birds, berries, nuts and insects. It hunts at night. A particularly spectacular sight — the pursuit of marten as the squirrel, when the animals will rapidly fly from tree to tree, long (up to 7 m) light jumping. More often, however, the marten trying to catch a squirrel right in the nest. Of birds especially grouse often catches. Remains of prey are often hiding in trees and in hollows. In city parks «patrol» the shores of ponds in search of water rats and muskrats. Some marten searching for the nests of wild bees (such animals hunters call medowie). In Ancient Russia the pelt of the pine marten served as a monetary unit (one Kuna). In the old days there were hunters who could stalk running through the treetops of the marten miles, tracking down her trail of falling from the branches of the snow. In the Russian and European folklore, the reputation of the marten varies greatly. European folklore claims that if the marten appears around the house and screaming death somewhere. At the same time, wearing the fur of the ermine is considered a Royal privilege, as it is to citicise a symbol of moral purity and sinlessness. Despite the fact that the Hebrew people believed the weasel unclean, the Egyptians considered them sacred animals. In China, the marten was one of the five animals able to hear everything that is said. One reason for the notoriety of some mustelids is their cowardice that is actually not true. In fact, they are brave and confident attack animals larger than themselves. Moreover, mustelids aggressively. Known cases when mustelids were killed hawks tried to attack them. The ancient Greeks believed that the goddess of retribution Nemesis took the image of a marten, when sought justice. Inhabitants of the Carpathian mountains believed that thousands of Martens will come to avenge the death of one of them. In honor of marten they had a festival the day of St. Matthew or St. Catherine, instead of setting traps for animals threatened their livestock, they preferred to come to terms with the ferocious little creatures. Medieval Christians regarded the cat as sacred warrior, able to defeat the devil. Marten was one of two animals that could kill the mythical Basilisk (the other rooster). As mustelids kill the serpent a symbol of sin, Christians considered them to be symbols of Christ’s cleansing. SV. Jordan of Bottarga kept home marten, which was the representation of his vigilance and alertness. As a totem animal, the marten is credited with agility and observation. Marten has a stunning observation, nothing stays unnoticed for whose totem is the marten. Marten promotes observation skills to a higher level — when observation and intuition combine to reward the observer with the ability to foresee the consequences. Also the marten totem fast, like blinking, and it symbolizes intelligence.

Weasel (lat. Mustela nivalis)

Common weasel is a carnivorous mammal of the weasel family. Weasel — the smallest animal of the Carnivora. Dwells everywhere and is more often found near swamps and ponds, clearings and burnt areas, in the fields and forest edges, in stacks of hay, and also in the settlements (for example, in the Bitsa and other parks). Very few weasels in the tundra and on the South of the Far East. Korkovye trees almost never climb, unless fleeing from predators or in the case, when you have a nest in a small hollow. Burrows dug not use other people’s holes, and various shelters. Most of the year these animals do not have a permanent lair or have, but use it every day or only in extreme cold. Where they do not hunt, petting almost not afraid of man. In early spring or late fall, when weasels are white in the absence of snow, you can see them in the forest for hundreds of meters. If you approach the animal, it will hide, but in a few minutes be sure to look out. If you stand quietly, not making any sudden movements, curious animal can come close and even make you a piece of sausage or cheese. It feeds on rodents and shrews, less often birds, frogs, insects. Small dimensions allow the weasel to chase rodents into their burrows. Often have rodents under the snow and in burrows. In Ancient Rome and medieval Europe the weasel was a pet because it was hunting mice. However, due to poor pyrochemistry affection, and to a greater extent appearance in Europe rats, with which the affection was difficult to handle, as the defender of the stocks in this role, it replaced other animals, ferrets and cats.

Ermine (lat. Mustela erminea)

Ermine — a valuable fur-bearing animal of the weasel family. Dwells everywhere, except for some Islands, the valley of the Amur river and South of Primorye, in the same landscapes that caress. In the tundra, and dry grasslands are rare and only inhabits the Bush thickets and shores of reservoirs, and in the taiga and forest steppe is more common than the weasel. Especially a lot of weasels on the Lower Obi. In the Caucasus are extremely rare. Sometimes settles in the taiga huts and settlements, but in large cities occurs only where especially a lot of rats in landfills, vegetable bases. The weasels in the trees almost never climb, unless fleeing from predators or in the case, when you have a nest in a small hollow. Burrows dug not use other people’s holes, and various shelters. Most of the year these animals do not have a permanent lair or have, but use it every day or only in extreme cold. Where they are not hunted, weasels are almost not afraid of man. In early spring or late fall when the weasels are white in the absence of snow, you can see them in the forest for hundreds of meters. If you approach the animal, it will hide, but in a few minutes be sure to look out. If you stand quietly, not making any sudden movements, curious animal can come close and even make you a piece of sausage or cheese. The weasel feeds on rodents, less frequently, other small animals, carrion, berries. When the case walks in the footsteps of large predators, picking up the remains of prey. Larger than weasels, the size does not allow him to penetrate the burrows of small rodents, therefore, the ermine preys on species of medium size, especially in a water rat. In Western Europe, maybe even to hunt rabbits. Active mostly morning and evening. Ermine — a valuable fur-bearing animal. In the past, his snow-white fur with black tips of tails were considered a symbol of purity and innocence and was used for lining the Royal and judicial robes. In the XVII century in England there was a case where the accused, by profession a furrier, appealed the court’s decision on the grounds that the judge was in the mantle of the fake ermine. The verdict was invalidated.

European mink (lat.Mustela lutreola)

Mink — animal subgenus of the genus ferrets and weasels. After delivery from Europe spread throughout the forest zone from the middle band to Anadyr, as well as in the Caucasus. Dwells on the banks of ponds and wetlands in winter follows a mainly ice-free areas. Swims and dives well. In winter, it often moves on Postolache — air corridor between the ice of the river Bank and had decreased after the establishment of the ice cover with water. Mink trees almost never climb, unless fleeing from predators or in the case, when you have a nest in a small hollow. Burrows dug not use other people’s holes, and various shelters. Most of the year these animals do not have a permanent lair or have, but use it every day or only in extreme cold. It eats rodents, frogs, fish, insects, earthworms. Mink usually has a small hunting area.

Lynx (lat. Felis lynx)

The lynx is a mammal species of the genus lynx. The name most likely comes from Slavonic root lysь, which under the influence of another Slavic root GUI (meaning «red spotted») appeared secondary «r». It lives in dense forests and rocky mountains throughout the taiga zone, in the Caucasus, in the last decade has penetrated into the forests of Kamchatka. Ear tufts are the lynx probably are a kind of antennas that perceive sound vibrations and transmit them to the middle ear. Although in many countries the expression «lynx-eye» indicate particularly sharp vision, experiments have shown that lynx sees a slightly worse person. The number varies according to years after the number of hares. Typically, the lynx disappears in places frequented by people. Even where she lives near the settlements, a careful predator almost impossible to see. Lynx’s voice is often heard during mating season, it resembles the spring cries of domestic cats, but louder and much less so to confuse them is almost impossible. It feeds mainly on hare-a hare, and other animals, from voles to young moose. A study of winter tracks of lynx have shown that it can catch on average one hare in four days, and that nine out of ten attempts are unsuccessful. Hunting for ungulates is rare and usually only the most common in this area. Never jumps on prey from the tree, and hides or lurks at the trails. A lynx is a hunting site, so it is everywhere quite rare. Lynx — in Slavic mythology, the ancient personification of «death» and «mistress of death», the lynx (bloodthirsty, fast and agile cat; motley; with a white, glowing fire eyes), common everywhere — in the dense forests of the Slavic lands, in Europe and in Siberia, inevitably, seemed to our ancestors the «terrible forest deity» (wild beast).

Otter (lat. Lutra lutra)

Otter, or common otter or river otter, or poreshnya — kind of predatory mammals of the weasel family, leading a semi-aquatic way of life; one of the three species of otters. Common otter everywhere except tundra and arid areas, but almost everywhere rare or disappeared due to hunting, water pollution and decreasing fish stocks. Relatively common only in some places in the North and North-West of the European part of Russia, on the middle Ob, Kamchatka, Sakhalin, the Amur basin and nature reserves of Primorye. In the South Kuril Islands completely destroyed. Dwells on the banks of the fishing rivers and lakes in the winter is kept at polynyas and ice-free areas. Somewhere found on the wooded shores of the seas. Otter is a very agile beast, conducting a considerable part of the time. On land, it looks awkward, but the water moves swiftly, catching even the fastest of fish. She loves to ride up on ice or steep slopes, where the clay or snow are characteristic grooves. Otters have a special «tobogganing», which animals use to games for decades. On waters where otters live, you can find plots along a trodden grass where otters rest day and — aft and inspection «tables» with the remains of food and droppings. Feeds on fish, frogs and crayfish, and occasionally eats rodents and birds. It hunts at night, very cautious. Among fishermen and hunters, widely spread opinion about the harm otters. But careful studies have shown that in places where settled the otter, the fish catch rapidly increased. She «cleans» out of a pool of sick and weakened fish, and the mass destroys weed fishes, thereby protecting from eating the eggs of commercial species. It is estimated that Sakhalin otter, protecting the salmon spawn, increase its catch as much as the fisheries of the Islands, taken together. The indigenous inhabitants of the Kuril Islands, the Ainu, there is a beautiful legend about the otter. «An otter is to blame for the imperfect nature of man.» When God created Man, and has nearly completed his work, he suddenly urgently needed to return to heaven for unexpected and urgent business. Looking around, he saw near the Otter. Called her, God told the Otter that he needs to go to heaven, but he will immediately send any divine messenger to complete an unfinished process. Passing the Otter valuable guidance for the legate, he said that he has already done and what else should I do to it, God has removed. And frivolous otter forgot all about the important job and was fun floating up and down the river, catching fish and enjoying a meal, did not notice the appearance of the divine messenger, who is not getting any guidance, completed the creation of the First Man in his own. That’s why the First Man was so imperfect, and all the people in the end were not what they were intended to make the Lord. God punished the animal, making the Otter is extremely forgetful and absent-minded. So ayskaya wisdom answers the perennial question: «Who is guilty?».

In article used materials from the sites: http://www.ecosystema.ru/ and http://ru.wikipedia.org.

About 50 species of mammals are found on the territory of the Valdai National Park, at least 180 birds, 5 reptiles, 7 amphibians and about 40−45 fish species. Of large mammals, elk and wild boar are most common, brown bear and wolf are not uncommon. Common rabbit hare, beaver, squirrel, fox, raccoon dog, marten marten, weasel, ermine, European mink, badger. Significantly less common flyer, otter, forest trot, lynx. The most common reptiles of the park are a viviparous lizard and an ordinary viper. Veretenitsa, a quick lizard and an ordinary lizard are much less common. Amphibians are represented by an ordinary newt, a gray toad, an ordinary scabby, grassy, ​​pointed pond and lake frogs.

Elk (Latin Alces alces)

Moose is the largest of deer (body length up to 3 m, height at withers up to 2.5 m). Even at the beginning of the XX century, elk was a rare species everywhere, except for the deaf areas of Siberia. Then the numbers, in part due to the prohibition of hunting, began to grow rapidly. Now elk is found in many forest parks and even on the outskirts of many cities. In the 90 years, the increase in numbers stopped, and in places the elk again became rare. Elk inhabits forests, willow trees along the shores of lakes, floodplains of rivers. In the snowless time, moose can often be seen on overgrown felling and burnt, swamps, along the banks of forest rivers and lakes, in winter in forests with a dense undergrowth. From places where the depth of snow in winter is more than 70 cm, moose sometimes migrate to winter for hundreds of kilometers. Feeds on elk leaves of trees and shrubs, as well as grass, mushrooms and berries; in the winter passes to the forage feed, the bark of young aspens and pines. Such inadequate feed does not provide it with sufficient energy. Moose saves energy, at the end of winter spending on the couch up to 18 hours a day, but still heavily thin by the spring. Where there are too many moose, they can severely damage forest plantations. In the hot season, elk often climbs around the neck in a lake or a quiet river, where it escapes from the nest and eats lush water vegetation. Moose is active at any time of the day, but it is often grazed before dawn and after sunset, and in crowded places — at night. It is kept singly or in small groups, in winter up to 10 animals. In the summer the moose is much more mobile. Males drop their horns at the beginning of winter, and new ones begin to grow only in the spring and are cleared of skin in August. Long legs and wide spreading hoofs allow elk to walk on swamps and snow, but at the end of winter they hardly move, passing less than a kilometer a day. At this time they often gather in certain parts of the forest, the so-called moose camps, where they trample a dense network of trails. At the risk of moose, thanks to a huge physical strength, it rapidly breaks through the snow of any depth to the nearest path and leaves along it.

Boar (Latin Sus scrofa)

Boar or wild boar or wild pig is an omnivorous artiodactyl non-ruminant mammal from the genus of pigs. Boars are kept in small herds, old males and females with piglets roam separately. During the night the herd can pass up to 5 km, rarely more. Sometimes, when there is a shortage of forages, it makes massive migrations for hundreds of kilometers. The day is spent on a couch in a remote corner of a forest or reed on the sunny slope of the mountain. The boar digs snow on the ground, tries to lay on a layer of branches, moss and dry grass. The female before farrowing makes a cozy nest with a soft litter and a roof made of branches. There are also lying in the haystacks. In addition to the traces and traces of the presence of wild boars in the forest, the kopki — plots of plowed soil, where the animals fed, are witnessed; as well as shreds of bristles on the stones and trunks of trees, which they like to itch. They also have baths — deep puddles or pits filled with water and mud. The wild boar feeds on rhizomes and bulbs of plants, fallen fruits, nuts, acorns, worms and insects, and on occasion also other small animals: cubs from rodent nests, snakes, frogs, chicks and bird eggs. Having discovered the carrion, a herd of wild boars can stay for many days until it gnaws the carcass to the bone. The food is extracted mainly from forest litter and soil, which it digs with a hard patch and canines. In winter, they often feed on swamps, where the soil does not freeze. The hooves of the wild boar can be widely spread, so it easily walks through the swamps. But in deep snow, due to short legs, he has to plow his chest with a breast or move with heavy jumps. In addition, freezing of the soil practically deprives him of the available food. Therefore, in winter the boar feeds little and lives mainly due to fat reserves, and many animals perish from exhaustion. But short legs and wedge-shaped body shape, as well as great physical strength, allow the wild boar to break through at high speed through a windbreak and a dense shrub that is impenetrable to other animals. An adult strong wanker can cope with even a few wolves, but boars, especially young ones, often die from them. From the wild boar is a domestic pig. Here and there are crossbreeds of wild boar and domestic pig, which can be recognized by spotted color, hanging ears or a light patch. For most of the peoples of Europe, the boar has long been considered a symbol of physical strength and fertility. In ancient times a hunter was considered an adult man only after he killed his first wild boar. But a man who did not know how to own his desires and emotions, could, according to legends, become a wild or domestic pig.

The wolf (Latin Canis lupus)

A wolf, or gray wolf, or an ordinary wolf is a predatory mammal of the dog family. A wolf is a large beast with a fluffy tail. Body length 1−1.6 m, tail 35−50 cm. Coloration of forest wolves gray, usually with a dark «saddle» on the back. The wolf is spread all over the country, except for some islands, but in the middle belt and in the south of the European part of Russia it is very rare. In areas with snowy winters he avoids continuous forests, penetrating them along roads, hunting trails and river valleys. For most of the year, wolves roam one by one and family groups — flocks. The flock usually consists of two mother animals and several juveniles, it can also be joined by young people from last year’s litter and random loners. Winter flocks usually have 5−12 animals, but occasionally in places with an abundance of game, up to 40 wolves gather. In wolf packs all animals have a certain social status. The connection between neighboring families and members of the pack is supported by a howl, which can contain quite a variety of information. Even a person is able to learn how to determine by ear how much in the howling group of animals and what they are about age. The wolf feeds on ungulates, rodents, less often all kinds of game from insects to bears sleeping in dens, scraps and carrion, plant foods. It is interesting that when a new species of prey appears, the wolf sometimes hesitates to touch it. Thus, while the wild boar was dispersed in the Western Sayans, the wolf did not cut this unfamiliar beast for 7 years, and some boars even learned to walk in wolves in the winter, picking up the remains of the prey. The wolf — a very strong, mobile beast, runs a day to 25−40 km, can carry a sheep into the lair, throwing it on its back. Once in a herd of sheep or camels, wolves often kill more than they can carry, although when hunting for wild ungulates, they rarely get such an opportunity. The wolf is one of the most popular characters in the folklore of all the peoples of Russia, and among the nomads, people living in hunting and fishing, and among the mountain peoples, the wolf usually symbolizes the mind and nobility, and in sedentary farmers and herdsmen — evil and aggressiveness. The wolf pack in the representation of many peoples serves as a symbol of the fighting squad, and the beast itself is a symbol of the god of war. In addition, for thousands of years, many people of the world have a belief that a person who committed a crime or a wolf-bitten person can turn into a werewolf (in ancient Slavs such a werewolf was called a werewolf). The peoples of the North, whose reindeer herds bear great damage from the wolves, still relate to this beast without prejudice, which is characteristic of the Slavs and other inhabitants of Europe. Northerners have long known about the role of wolves in nature. For example, according to the myths of the Lappish Saami, the deer was created by the goddess of pasture Raziake. But the deer multiplied excessively, destroyed the entire yagelas and began to ache and die of hunger. Then, to save the tundra and the Saami, the god of justice Cavri created wolves. Outside of Russia and Central Asian countries, the wolf is everywhere rare and is under protection.

Brown bear (Latin Ursus arctos)

Bear brown — a predatory mammal bear family; one of the largest and most dangerous land predators. Brown bear is a forest animal. Its usual habitats in Russia are solid forest tracts with a windbreak and gary with thick growths of hardwoods, bushes and grasses. The bear usually keeps solitary, the female — with cubs of different ages. Males and females are territorial, the individual site on average ranges from 73 to 414 km, and in males it is approximately 7 times larger than in females. The boundaries of the site are marked with scent marks and «bully» — scratches on prominent trees. The brown bear is omnivorous, but its diet is ¾ vegetable: berries, acorns, nuts, roots, tubers and grass stalks. The brown bear is active throughout the day, but more often in the mornings and evenings. The seasonal cyclicity of life is clearly pronounced. By the winter, the bear swallows subcutaneous fat (up to 180 kg) and falls into the den in the fall. The bergs are located in a dry place, in most cases in pits under the protection of a windbreak or under the twisted roots of trees. Less often bears dig a shelter in the ground or occupy caves and crevices of rocks. Bears have favorite wintering places, where they gather year after year from the whole district. In different regions winter sleep lasts from 75 to 195 days. Depending on climatic and other conditions, bears are in dens from October — November to March — April, that is 5−6 months. Longest live in the dens of bear with bear cubs, least of all — the old males. During the wintering period, the bear loses up to 80 kg of fat. Contrary to popular belief, the winter dream of a brown bear is shallow; the temperature of his body in a dream varies between 29 and 34 degrees. In case of danger, the animal wakes up and leaves the den, going on a quest for a new one. Sometimes the bear does not have time to fatten properly during the autumn, so wakes up among winters and starts to wander about in search of food; such bears are called rods. Despite the clumsy appearance, the brown bear runs exceptionally fast — at a speed of over 55 km / h, it perfectly swims and when young, it climbs trees well (to old age it does it reluctantly). With one punch, a bear can break a bull’s back, a bison or a buffalo. In the mythology of the majority of the peoples of Eurasia and North America, the bear serves as a link between the world of people and the animal world. Primitive hunters considered it compulsory, having extracted a bear, to perform the ceremony of ritual, asking for forgiveness from the spirit of the slain. In some places, the killing of a bear with firearms is still considered a sin. The ancient ancestors of the European peoples were so afraid of the bear that it was forbidden to pronounce aloud its names arctos (in the Aryans in the 6th millennia BC, later in the Latin peoples) and the sword (in the Slavs in the V-IX centuries CE) was banned. Instead of them, nicknames were used: ursus among the Romans, by the ancient Germans, by the Vedmids or by the bear by the Slavs. For centuries, these nicknames turned into names, which in turn were also banned from hunters and replaced with nicknames (for Russians — Mikhailo Ivanovich, Toptygin, Boss). In the early Christian tradition, the bear was considered a beast of Satan.

Hare-hare (Latin Lepus timidus)

Zajcevye — a family of mammals from the order of the hares, which includes the hares proper (mainly the genus Lepus, but also Pronolagus and Caprolagus) and rabbits (the rest of the genera).It inhabits everywhere, except for the south of the European part of Russia and the Caucasus, in tundra (often shrubby), forests (often coniferous), birch pins, floodplain willows, overgrown felling and burnt, sometimes in steppe shrubs. For feeding often goes to the fields and to the steppe, but the hiking is only under the protection of trees and bushes. Winter and summer trample the network of trails from the places of fat (feeding) to the couches. In winter, they arrange stays under the protection of snowdrifts, snow holes and recesses, and sometimes closed shelters in the snow, from which, in danger, suddenly jump out, breaking through the ceiling. In the summer, they arrange the under the bushes or openly. Sweaty glands in the hares are concentrated between the fingers, and their tracks smell strongly (a good hunting dog takes a trace and in 8−9 hours). Therefore, before going to the couch, they usually confuse the tracks, making loops, twins, notes. Such a trail, hare Malik, as the hunters say, is a tricky rebus for both man and dog or fox. Although the hares do not have permanent shelters, they usually live in a small area and pass for less than 2.5 km per day. Nor usually do not dig (except in the snow), spend the day under bushes, in a shallow pit, less often in rodent burrows. Active, mostly at dusk and at night. In summer, hares feed on herbaceous plants, in winter — more often bark and shoots of trees and shrubs, sometimes mushrooms. Hares often lack mineral salts, so they eat snow that gets urine. The image of a hare in Russian and European mythologies is very ambiguous. On the one hand, it is associated with death: in the tales Koshchei’s death keeps, signs are advised to avoid meeting him (see, for example, the novel in poems «Eugene Onegin» and the legend of a meeting with the hare of Alexander Pushkin). On the other hand, the hare is found in wedding songs as a metaphor for fertility and conjugal love. In some fairy tales, the hare acts as an example of weakness or cowardice. The opponent of the hare is a wolf.

Common fox (Latin Vulpes vulpes)

Ordinary, or red fox — a predatory mammal of the dog family, the most common and largest species of the genus foxes. It inhabits everywhere, except for the arctic tundra and some islands, but in regions with snowy winters it avoids continuous taiga massifs. Like most carnivores, foxes usually do not hunt near their lair, so duck-pecans sometimes safely remove chicks in branches of residential foxes. The foxes themselves often settle on the «outskirts» of badger towns. It feeds on rodents, rarely hares, birds, insects, carrion and garbage, berries. Hunting methods are extremely diverse. On the outskirts of cities, for example, live foxes — cats, cunning animals, hunting mostly on rats and stray cats. Sooner or later the fox «picks up the key» to almost any prey. A hedgehog, it sometimes rolls into the water to force it to turn around. Wild geese are caught together: one animal jumps and skates on the ground distracts the flock, and the other at this time is selected for the distance of the jump. Steppen foxes travel tens of kilometers along power lines, picking up the remains of the production of buzzards, moons and owls, as well as corpses of birds that have broken on the wires. His main prey — rodents — the fox deftly digs from under the snow by ear (mouse). In the years when there are few rodents, it has to largely switch to food garbage along roads and landfills. Hunts around the clock, but more often in the twilight. On ponds where there are fish zamory, it catches fish from fishermen left or vydroj holes. On spawning rivers catches salmon. Witty and resourcefulness of foxes attracted the attention of a man for a long time. Red fox is a very common character of folklore of different countries of the world. In European countries, she, as a rule, embodies cunning and female cunning, performing in quite diverse roles: from treacherous scoundrels (as in a number of Russian fairy tales) to clever advisors (as in Boris Shergin’s fairy tale «Poig and the Fox»). One of the most famous fox characters is Lis Renard — a character of the classic medieval Roman poem about Fox. In the East, it is widely believed that foxes are able to turn into charming women, seductive male assassins. Similar ideas about fox-werewolves (cisunes) existed in Europe. In Mesopotamian mythology, the fox is a sacred animal. She serves the goddess Ki as a messenger. In Finland, a fox is a symbol of cunning, but not evil. In Japanese mythology there are fox-werewolves kitsune, who can take human form. They have great knowledge and master the magic. Later, kitsune became popular in literature, cinema and video games. Spirits, similar to kitsune, also appear in Chinese and Korean myths.

River beaver (Latin Castor fiber)

Ordinary beaver or river beaver is a semi-aquatic mammal of a detachment of rodents; One of the two modern representatives of the beaver family. The largest rodent of the Old World fauna and the second largest rodent after capybar. Inhabits the banks of slow rivers and lakes with thickets of deciduous forest. By the beginning of the XX century it was almost exterminated, but now thanks to protection and resettlement measures it occurs almost throughout the forest zone and in the forest-steppe of the European part of Russia, in Western Siberia, the Baikal region, and brought to the lower reaches of the Amur. They live in families. Steep banks build holes, and where the banks are flat — huts made of silt stuck up to 3−5 m in height with an underwater entrance. In places with a variable level of water, dams are built from trunks and branches, bound with mud and clay. The dams reach 200 m in length and 7 m in width; Sometimes beavers dig in the gentle banks of narrow channels, through which the harvested wood forage is fused to the pond. In case of danger, they dive, giving an alarm signal — a loud slapping of the tail on the water. In winter, the activity of beavers sharply decreases, and they spend a considerable part of their time in a half-sleep — drowsiness. Feed on bark and thin branches of trees and shrubs, water and coastal herbaceous plants. In treeless areas can do without wood fodder, but they necessarily need grassy. From trees prefer aspen, willow, bird cherry, sometimes eat alder and birch. Conifers rarely eat, apparently, as medicinal. Beavers are able to quickly drop small trees, leaving hemp with conical top. Occasionally they bite and thick trunks. Feed and work mostly at night. For the winter make a large supply of branches on the bottom, without which in winter, when the pond freezes, people die of hunger. Beavers often eat their own litter to get proteins and vitamins, which are produced by bacteria living in the large intestine. The appearance of beavers in rivers and especially the construction of dams has a beneficial effect on the ecology of aquatic and riverine biotopes. In the formed flood, numerous mollusks and aquatic insects settle, which in turn attract the desman and waterfowl. Birds on the legs bring fish eggs. Fish, being in favorable conditions, begins to multiply. Fallen trees serve as a food for hares and many ungulates, which gnaw the bark from trunks and branches. The juice flowing in the spring from the sharpened trees is loved by butterflies and ants, followed by birds. Protection of beavers is used by muskrats, in their huts together with the owners are often settled muskrats. Damages contribute to the purification of water, reducing its turbidity; sludge is retained in them. At the same time, beaver dams can damage human buildings. There are cases when the spills arranged by the beavers flooded and blurred streets and railroad tracks and even served as the cause of the crashes. From time immemorial the beaver was an honored animal. There is evidence of the existence of beaver cults belonging to the beginning of the III century. In pagan mythology, the beaver symbolized the connection with the higher worlds. «Heather beaver» — they liked to say in Russia.

Ordinary protein (Latin Sciurus vulgaris)

Proteins are the genus of rodents of the squirrel family. They dwell in high-altitude forests throughout the forest and forest-steppe zone, down to the city parks, imported to the Caucasus. Spends the night in hollows, in the taiga often builds a fucking-ball-shaped nest of twigs up to half a meter in diameter with 1−2 side entrances, lined with moss and lichens from the inside. Most often it is located on spruce. Sometimes he heats a nest for himself. In severe frosts, the protein may not leave the gay for days at a time. Before leaving for the night, many squirrels confuse the tracks, although not as cunningly as the hares. They are active during the day, especially in the morning and in the evening. In hibernation for the winter do not fall. They feed on seeds of conifers, mushrooms, buds, shoots, nuts, insects. Occasionally they eat chicks and eggs of birds. They feed on trees and on the ground, can make long-distance travels along the crowns, almost without going down to earth. Taiga proteins feed mainly on seeds of coniferous trees; an important role in their nutrition in lean years is played by cones thrown to the ground by cliches, and seeds from stocks of cedarwood. The protein also makes reserves for the winter.She, apparently, does not remember their location, but finds them in winter by chance, when she inspects her site. In deciduous forests, the main food is nuts and acorns. In the years of starvation, squirrels feed on spruce buds, biting off the end shoots and dropping them in abundance on the snow (the sheep are «sheared»). In Russian folklore, protein is a harbinger of failure. So, according to popular belief, if the road «squirrels — to the thin» runs across. Also in many places in central Russia (the provinces of Yaroslavl, Tverskaya, Vladimirskaya) there is a belief that a squirrel who fled into the city or village foreshadows a fire from lightning (sometimes just a fire). There is an ancient belief that if you kill a squirrel, you can get yourself into trouble. The source of the belief is covered by the darkness of the unknown. But perhaps he is somehow connected with the legend that the squirrel was the only animal that saw how Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. Legend has it that in those days the squirrel had a rat tail. Horrified by the fall of the people, she covered her eyes with her tail, so as not to see it. Since then, all the proteins have lush and beautiful tails.

Raccoon dog (Latin Nyctereutes procyonoides)

Raccoon dog is a predatory mammal of the dog family (canine). Inhabits the south of the Far East;imported into the European part of Russia, to the Sakhalin and the Caucasus, where it is now widely distributed. Inhabits mixed forests and banks of water bodies. In the European part of the country and in the Far East falls into a winter, but often goes into a thaw. Digs shallow burrows or uses various shelters. The raccoon of a raccoon dog is jerky whistling, resembling the voice of a bird rather than the beast; in Japan, a raccoon is sometimes kept in homes for the sake of their beautiful «singing». It feeds on small rodents, chicks and eggs of birds, frogs, fish, insects, bulbs and rhizomes of plants, berries. Hunts mostly in the afternoon. Raccoon dog — tanuki — the famous hero of Japanese folklore. Along with the fox — kitsune — this beast was considered a werewolf, able to appear in different guises. Kitsune is a demonic figure, a false and treacherous creature. But, just as in the «Tales of Uncle Remus» fox in the person of the agile brother of a rabbit was found in the fox’s cunning, and in Japanese legends there is a hero who «does not have the teeth» of artful kitsune. These are tanuki. To some outstanding legendary tanuki, the Japanese build temples and worship like gods. It is believed that Tanuki could fool people, especially monks, but not out of malice, but for the sake of a joke. These transformations symbolized the Buddhist idea that the beautiful can turn into a terrible one and vice versa, that they are one thing — illusions. In one of the ancient Japanese narrations, tanuki to play the local sage takes the image of the famous Buddhist deity Fugana. The sage is delighted, he saw the deity, moreover on a white elephant, on which Fugan always travels. The sage shares his joy with the commoners, and the tanuki in his prank went out in earnest and once again appeared before the assembled in the guise of a deity. However, there was an incredulous hunter. If this deity, thought the hunter, the arrow will not hurt him, and if the deceiver, then the deception will immediately open. The hunter let the arrow into the vision. It disappeared with a terrible howl. In the morning, residents found a dead tanuki pierced by an arrow. It’s a pity, but everything has a limit, even jokes. Of course, the meaning of this legend is much deeper. This comparison of approaches to the life of a wise man and a practical hunter who has gone to theoretical reasoning.

Forest marten (Latin Martes martes)

Forest marten, or yellodushka — a kind of mammals from the family of cunies. Dwells in dense high-growth forests of the European part of Russia, the Urals, Western Siberia to Surgut to the east, in the mountain forests of the Caucasus. Here and there it is found in urban parks (for example, in Moscow — in Tsaritsyno and on Vorobyovy Gory). In recent years, replaced by sable from the middle of the Ob, but appeared in the forest-steppes of the south of Western Siberia. Very flexible, mobile, fast predators, mostly nightly. Live in the nests-lairs, which are used all year round for recreation, and in severe frosts spend in them most of the time. The lair arranges in a hollow, sometimes in an old nest magpies or squirrels. It feeds on rodents, hares, birds, berries, nuts and insects. Hunting at night. Especially spectacular is the chase of the marten for the squirrel, when the animals swiftly fly from tree to tree with long (up to 7 m) light jumps. More often, however, the marten tries to grab the squirrel right in the nest. Of birds especially often catches grouse. Remains of prey often hide in trees and in hollows. In city parks «patrols» the shores of ponds in search of water rats and muskrats. Some martens search for nests of wild bees (such hunters are called hunters). In Ancient Rus, the skins of the forest marten served as a monetary unit (one kuna). In the old days there were hunters who knew how to pursue the many martens walking along the tree crowns, tracing it along the trail of snow falling from the branches. In the Russian and European folklore, the reputation of the kuni varies greatly. European folklore argues that if the marten appears near the house and screams, then death is somewhere nearby. At the same time, wearing ermine is considered a royal privilege, as it is honored with a symbol of moral purity and sinlessness. Despite the fact that the Hebrew people consider the Cunyis impure, the Egyptians considered them sacred animals. In China marten was one of five animals, able to hear everything that is said. One of the reasons for the fame of some kunis is their cowardice, which is really not true. In fact, they are brave and confidently attacking larger animals than they are. Moreover, the cuni are quite aggressive. There are cases when the Cunyas killed hawks who tried to attack them. The ancient Greeks believed that the goddess of retaliation Nemesis accepted the image of a marten, when it sought justice. The inhabitants of the Carpathians believed that thousands of martens would come to avenge the death of one of them. In honor of the marten, they held a festival on the day of St. Matthew or St. Catherine, instead of placing traps on animals threatening their livestock, they preferred to reconcile themselves with small ferocious creatures. Medieval Christians treated the marten as a sacred warrior capable of defeating the devil. The marten was one of two animals capable of killing the mythical Basilisk (the second is a cock). Since kunyas kill snakes — a symbol of sin, Christians counted them as symbols of Christ cleansing. St. Jordan from Buttberg kept his homemade marten, which was a representation of his vigilance and alertness. As totemic animals, Cunyim is credited with agility and observation. The marten possesses amazing observance, nothing remains unnoticed for the one whose totem is marten. Cunica promotes observation to a higher level — when observation and intuition come together to reward the observer with the ability to foresee the consequences. Also the marten totem is fast, like blinking, and symbolizes intelligence.

Weasel (Latin Mustela nivalis)

Ordinary caress is a predatory mammal of the family of cunies. Weasel is the smallest animal of the order of the Raptors. It inhabits everywhere, it is more often found near marshes and reservoirs, on felling and burning, on fields and fringes, in haystacks, as well as in settlements (for example, in Bitsevsky and other Moscow parks). Very few weasels in the tundra and in the south of the Far East. Ferrets in the trees almost never climb, except that fleeing from predators or in the event that they arrange a nest in a low hollow. Nor do not dig, use other people’s holes and various shelters. For most of the year these animals do not have a permanent lair or have, but they do not use it every day or only in severe frosts. Wherever they are not hunted, caresses are almost not afraid of man. In years with early spring or late autumn, when caresses turn out to be white in the absence of snow, they can be seen in the forest for hundreds of meters. If you approach the animal, he will hide, but after a few minutes he will necessarily look. If you stand still, without making sudden movements, a curious animal can come up close and even take from you a piece of sausage or cheese. It feeds on mouse-shaped rodents and shrews, less often on birds, frogs, insects. Small size allows caresses to chase rodents right in their burrows. Rodents are often harassed under snow and in burrows. In Ancient Rome and early medieval Europe, weasel was a domesticated animal, as it hunted mice. However, due to the poor domesticity of the caress and, to a greater extent, the appearance in Europe of a gray rat, with which laske was difficult to cope, other animals, such as ferrets and cats, were replaced as defenders of reserves in this role.

Gornostay (Latin Mustela erminea)

Gornostay — a valuable furry animal of the family of cunies. Dwells everywhere, except for some islands, the valleys of the Amur and the Southern Primorye, in the same landscapes as the weasel. In the tundra and dry steppes, it is rare and inhabits only thickets of shrubs and banks of water bodies, and in the taiga and forest-steppe occurs more often than weasel. Especially a lot of ermines on the Lower Ob. In the Caucasus it is extremely rare. Sometimes settles in taiga huts and settlements, but in large cities is found only where there are especially many rats — in landfills, vegetable bases. Gornostyva on trees almost never climb, except that fleeing from predators or in the event that they arrange a nest in a low hollow. Nor do not dig, use other people’s holes and various shelters. For most of the year these animals do not have a permanent lair or have, but they do not use it every day or only in severe frosts. Wherever they are not hunted, ermine is almost never afraid of man. In years with early spring or late autumn, when ermines turn out to be white in the absence of snow, they can be seen in the forest for hundreds of meters. If you approach the animal, he will hide, but after a few minutes he will necessarily look. If you stand still, without making sudden movements, a curious animal can come up close and even take from you a piece of sausage or cheese.It feeds on ermine rodents, less often other small animals, carrion, berries. On occasion, he follows the tracks of large predators, picking up the remains of the prey. Larger than petting, the size does not allow it to penetrate the burrows of small rodents, so the ermine hunts for medium-sized species, primarily a water rat. In Western Europe, it can even hunt rabbits. Active mainly in the morning and evening. Gornostai is a valuable fur animal. In the past, its snow-white fur with black tips of the tail was considered a symbol of purity and purity and was used for the flashing of royal and judicial robes. In the XVII century in England there was a case when the accused, by profession a furrier, protested the court’s decision on the grounds that the judge was wearing a mantle from a fake ermine. The verdict was declared invalid.

European Mink (Latin Mustela lutreola)

Mink — a subgenus of animals of the genus of ferrets and weasels. After delivery from Europe, it spread throughout the forest zone from the middle belt to Anadyr, and also in the Caucasus. Dwells along the banks of water bodies and marshes, in winter it adheres mainly to non-freezing areas. Good swims and dives. In winter, it often moves through a pond — an air corridor between the ice of the river, the shore and lowered by water after the ice cover is established. Mink through the trees almost never climb, except that fleeing from predators or in the event that they arrange a nest in a low hollow. Nor do not dig, use other people’s holes and various shelters. For most of the year these animals do not have a permanent lair or have, but they do not use it every day or only in severe frosts. It feeds on rodents, frogs, fish, insects, earthworms. Mink, as a rule, has a small hunting area.

Lynx (Latin for Felis lynx)

Lynx — a kind of mammal from the genus of lynx. The name is most likely associated with the pre-Slavic root lys, in which, under the influence of another praslavian root rys (with the meaning «red, spotted»), a secondary «r» appeared. Dwells in remote forests and rocky mountains throughout the taiga zone, in the Caucasus, in recent decades has penetrated the forests of Kamchatka. The tassels on the ears of a lynx probably serve as a kind of antenna that perceives sound vibrations and transmits them to the middle ear. Although in many countries the expression «lynx eyes» means a particularly sharp sight, experiments have shown that in the afternoon, the lynx sees a slightly worse man. The number changes in the years following the number of hares. Usually the lynx disappears in places frequented by people. Even where it lives near settlements, this cautious predator is almost impossible to see. The voice of the lynx is often heard during the rut, it resembles the spring cries of domestic cats, but louder and much lower, so it is almost impossible to confuse them. It feeds mainly on hare-hare, as well as other animals — from voles to young elk. A study of winter trot tracks showed that she manages to catch an average of one rabbit in four days and that nine attempts out of ten are unsuccessful. On ungulates hunts rarely and, as a rule, only on the most usual kind in the given area. Never jumps on prey from a tree, but hides or lurks at the paths. Lynx is a large hunting area, so it is very rare everywhere. Lynx — in Slavic mythology the ancient personification of «death» and «mistress of death», lynx (bloodthirsty, fast and snapping cat, motley, with white, burning eyes), widespread everywhere — in the dense forests of the Slavic lands, in Europe and in Siberia, inevitably seemed to our ancestors «a terrible forest god» (a cruel beast).

Otter (lat. Lutra lutra)

Otter, or common otter, or river otter, or pestilus — a species of predatory mammals of the family of cuni, leading a semi-aquatic life; one of the three species of the otter species. The otter is widespread everywhere except tundra and waterless areas, but almost everywhere it is rare or has disappeared due to hunting, water pollution and fish stock reduction. Relatively often occurs only here and there in the north and northwest of the European part of Russia, on the middle Ob, Kamchatka, Sakhalin, in the Amur basin and the reserves of Primorye. In the Southern Kuriles completely destroyed. Inhabits the shores of fish rivers and lakes, in winter it is kept by polynyas and ice-free areas. Here and there, and on the wooded coasts of the seas. The otter is a very mobile beast that plays a significant part of the time in games. On land, it looks awkward, but it moves swiftly in the water, catching even the fastest fish. She is very fond of skating on smooth ice or steep slopes, where characteristic grooves remain on the clay or snow. The otters have special «roller coaster», which animals use for games for dozens of years. On reservoirs where otters live, one can also find areas on the shore with trampled grass where otters rest in the afternoon, as well as fodder and lookout tables with food leftovers and droppings. Eats fish, frogs and crayfish, occasionally eats rodents and birds. Hunting at night, very careful. Among fishermen and hunters, the opinion about the harmfulness of the otter is widespread. But careful studies have shown that in the places where the otter settles, catches of fish quickly increase. It «removes» sick and weakened fish from the pond and massively destroys the weed fry, thereby protecting the game species from eating caviar. It is estimated that on the Sakhalin otters, protecting salmon caviar, increase its catch as much as all the fish farms of the island combined. The indigenous inhabitants of the Kuril Islands have a beautiful legend about the otter. «Otter is the culprit of the imperfect nature of man."When God created Man and almost completed his work, he suddenly urgently needed to return to heaven in an unexpected and urgent matter. Looking around, he saw nearby Otter. Having called her, God told Otter that he needed to go to heaven urgently, but he would immediately send some divine messenger to finish the unfinished process. Passing valuable instructions to the Otter for the messenger, he told what he had already done and what else to finish, God had left. And the frivolous otter immediately forgot about the important task and began to amuse herself, floating up and down the river, fishing and enjoying the meal, completely failed to notice the appearance of the divine messenger who, having received no instructions, completed the creation of the First Man at his own discretion. That's why the First Man turned out so imperfect, and all people in the end are not what the Lord intended them to be. God punished the animal, making the Otter extraordinarily forgetful and diffused. That’s how Aya’s wisdom answers the age-old question: «Who is to blame?».

The article uses materials from the following websites: http://www.ecosystema.ru/ and http://ru.wikipedia.org .