Conservation and recruitment of the Olkhon vole population

Conservation and recruitment of the Olkhon vole population

February – December 2019

The population of Olkhon vole has dramatically reduced for the recent years. Furthermore, the relict origin, a small torn area and a declining number make it possible to classify the Olkhon vole as one of the rare and endangered species. Lake Baikal Foundation makes all the necessary efforts to protect and save the animal in order to prevent the extinction of the only endemic mammal of Baikal, as the loss of any biological species jeopardizes the human civilization due to the imbalance of the biological system.

The project on the conservation and recruitment of Olkhon vole population was realized as the part of the «Baikal Initiative» grant competition for young scientists under the leadership of Igor Moroldoev. 

In 2020 it is planning to continue working on studying the genetic and morphological variability of Olkhon vole with the usage obtained data during the field expeditions. Moreover, the further working on reintroduction of Olkhon vole on the islands of Maloye More will be continued. 


  • Organize the research and environmental educational work on preservation and development of the restoration methods of the Olkhon vole’s population. 


  • Provide grant assistance to Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals of the Siberian Branch of the RAS for implementing the corresponding project. 
  • As a part of assistance to conduct the following works in February-December in 2019:
  1. To determine the abundance and biotopic distribution of the Olkhon voles within the range, to carry out detailed mapping of habitats.
  2. To establish the taxonomic status of the Olkhon voles relative within Alticolagenus and establish natural enemies and parasites.
  3. To create a vivarium with a laboratory population of Olkhon voles and to develop a method for breeding in vivarium conditions in order to release into natural conditions;
  4. To study the genetic structure of the lab population to obtain a stable natural population, to publish articles in periodicals mass media to spread results to local community and to publish a scientific monograph on biology, ecology, genetics and protection of the Olkhon vole.

What was done:

  • The Foundation’s grant in 2019 amounted 300 000 rubles. 
  • The total budget amounted 360 000 rubles. 
  • The funds were spent for the implementation of targets listed above, salaries of project’s employees, purchase of materials, special equipment for scientific works, third-party services costs and transport.  


1.  A scientific expedition to  Olkhon island and Priolkhonie region was organized in order to Былаcounting and monitoring of  Olkhon vole’s population, collection of tissue samples to undertake molecular genetic studies in ISEA SB RAS.

2.  The habitation of Olkhon vole was confirmed in different districts of Olkhon island and several islands of Maloye More. The continuing decline in the population and areal of Olkhon vole was recorded. 

3.  The maintenance and reproduction of Olkhon vole works were carried out in the vivarium of ISEA SB RAUS in laboratory conditions. In 2019 for the first time in world the Olkhon vole’s offspring was produced. The new data were obtained on the features of breeding and development of care of offspring, family and social behavior of this rare species. 

4.  The works on reintroduction of Olkhon vole were organized in Barachkin island. 43 new-generation animals, born in ISEA SB RAUS vivarium, were brought to the island.

5.  A complex of measures on was carried out to educate the local population and tourists on the Olkhon island.

6.  During the reporting year, the work on covering the progress of the project continued on the Internet, social networks, the You-tube network, and online blogs.


Сохраним ольхонскую полевку!

Средства на проект по изучению и сохранению ольхонской полёвки собирают всем миром, Сибирские новости, 18.09.2018

Сибирские ученые начали сбор средств на спасение ольхонской полевки,, 18.09.2018

Ученые собирают средства для сохранения исчезающего грызуна, обитающего только на Байкале, Восток Телеинформ, 24.09.2018

Жители пяти стран пожертвовали деньги на проект по сохранению полевки, обитающей в скалах Байкала, ИНТЕРФАКС – Сибирь, 10.01.2019

На сохранение Ольхонской полёвки собрали более 73 тысяч рублей, ИА Иркутск Сегодня, 10.01.2019

Мероприятия по сохранению исчезающей ольхонской полевки начнутся летом 2019 года, ИА Альтаир, 15.01.2019

Пирамидки-убийцы: ученые спасают вымирающих полевок от туристов, загадывающих желания на Байкале, Комсомольская правда в Новосибирске, 22.01.2019

Как ольхонская полевка на Байкале стала жертвой неразумных туристов, Хомад.ру, 25.01.2019

Три проекта молодых ученых получили гранты фонда «Озеро Байкал», Твой Иркутск, 21.02.2019

Проекты по исследованию и спасению эндемиков поддержал фонд «Озеро Байкал», Агентство Социальной Информации, 12.03.2019

Новосибирские учёные выпустили на Байкале редких полёвок, чтобы спасти их от вымирания, НГС – Новосибирск онлайн», 17.09.2019

Как спасти ольхонскую полевку? Новости сибирской науки, 18.09.2019

Biodiversity Conservation