Russian Journal of Biological Invasions

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 69–76 | Cite as

Synurbization of the common hamster (Cricetus cricetus L., 1758)

  • A. V. SurovEmail author
  • N. S. Poplavskaya
  • P. L. Bogomolov
  • M. V. Kropotkina
  • N. N. Tovpinetz
  • E. A. Katzman
  • N. Yu. Feoktistova


The common hamster (Cricetus cricetus L., 1758) historically formed an extensive range covering much of Europe and Asia. However, in the last 50 years almost throughout the whole range, its number in natural habitats and agrocenoses dropped sharply. At the same time, the common hamster began to settle cities, which could be considered as a biological invasion. Now urban populations are found in Vienna (Austria) and several cities of Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Russia. By example of Simferopol, where the largest urban population exists, we show what resources the species can use in the city and what changes in the ecology and behavior follow this. It is suggested that the major factors promoting the settling of cities by the common hamster are additional environmental resources associated with the specifics of the urban environment: the emergence of new shelters, food sources, etc. We assume that ecological opportunism, polyphagy, and high stress resistance could be crucial for the ability to settle urban environments.


common hamster synurbization adaptations urban environment anthropogenic factors biological invasion 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. V. Surov
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. S. Poplavskaya
    • 1
  • P. L. Bogomolov
    • 1
  • M. V. Kropotkina
    • 1
  • N. N. Tovpinetz
    • 2
  • E. A. Katzman
    • 1
  • N. Yu. Feoktistova
    • 1
  1. 1.Severtsov Institute of Ecology and EvolutionRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Center for Hygiene and Epidemiology in the Republic of CrimeaSimferopolRussia

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