The specled ground squirrel (Spermophilus suslicus) belongs to the rare and endangered species of mammals inhabiting the area of the European Communities.
Therefore, in implementing the obligations of the Convention on Biological persity of 1992, the Commission has included the gopher in a list of priority species named by the Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (the Habitats Directive).
The colony of the specled ground squirrel within the Natura 2000 area is located on the grassy plain of the airport in Świdnik.
A Letter of Intent on the establishment of the Foundation for the Protection of the specled ground squirrel was signed at the end of the seminar, Environmental Impact of the Expansion of the Airport in Świdnik, which was held on 19-20 June in Lublin and Świdnik. The letter was signed by many local actors, including Lublin Airport, Lubelskie Voivodeship, Lublin Municipality, Świdnik Municipality, PZL Świdnik, Świdnik Flying Club and the Association of Świdnik Airport. The foundation was legally established on 18 January 2008. The undersigned: on behalf of the Lublin Ornithological Society - President Grzegorz Grzywaczewski, on behalf of the Society for Nature and Man - President Krzysztof Gorczyca and Sebastian Trusz (the treasurer), on behalf of Lublin Airport - President Grzegorz Muszynski and Vice-President Dariusz Krzowski, and on behalf of the Association of Świdnik Airport - President Waldemar Białowąs. The foundation is seated in Lublin, but it may branch out to form remote offices and agencies. The foundation's aim is to protect wildlife with particular emphasis on the specled ground squirrel (Spermophilus suslicus), especially by:
The founders council of the Foundation for the Protection of the specled ground squirrel is composed of: Waldemar Białowąs - vice-chairman, Krzysztof Gorczyca - secretary, Grzegorz Muszyński - vice-chairman, Michał Piskorski - chairman
The Programming Board: Aleksandra Biedrzyńska, Tadeusz Chmielewski, Waldemar Jakson, Stefan Męczyński, Henryk Okarma, Michał Piskorski, Krzysztof Pruchnicki, Beata Sielewicz, Jacek Sobczak, Włodzimierz Wysocki
The Foundation Management Board: Krzysztof Gorczyca - vice-president, Grzegorz Grzywaczewski - vice-president, Piotr Jankowski - president
Photos by Krzysztof Próchnicki - The specled ground squirrel at the airport in Świdnik