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Sand-launce on Charyn.

Travels to Charyn canyon.

”The mountains are calling and I must go”

John Muir.

Trip from Almaty to Charyn canyon.

Valley of Castles in the northeastern tip of the Toraigyr Mountains, located at an altitude of 1112 to 910.9 meters above sea level, is located on the left bank of the river of the same name, on the territory of the Sharyn Natural Park, in the Uigur district of the Almaty region.
Sand-launce (Arenaria). What a miracle! Long back legs and the long-long tail, ending with a brush.. Small front paws are at a breast as for a prayer. Soft, gentle fur is painted in sandy-argillaceous color of desert. A brush on the end of a tail is name a banner.
Big jerboas have a white-black one. The big jerboa lives in our country. Its trunk is up to 20 cm. a tail is over 25. A small one is the reduced copy of a big jerboa. In desert where the forage can be gathered on the big area, jerboa learned to overcome distances with the maximal speed and the minimal expense of forces and energy.
Sand-launce jumps for up to 2 meters long, balancing with the tail. At sharp turns the tail serves as a rudder. Sand-launce can speed up to sixty kilometers per hour. Wit the front paws it holds branches when getting forage, or manages a box of seeds, an insect, a snail, digs out juicy bulbs and roots.
Sand-launce a, as well as many desert animals, a significant part of a life spends under the ground. Here, several tens centimeters deep, is already possible to live when it s extremely hot outside. In general their holes are rather simple and not deep.
Courses reach some meters long, are almost parallel to the surfaces, 30 - 40 sm. deep, and one meter deep it ends with the nested chamber, at winter he gets into hibernation. The yellow or sandstone gopher is the typical representative of steppe fauna.
Comes out from the holes at the end of February or the beginning of March. Lies in hibernation, which lasts 5 - 7 months, in the end of June or the beginning of September. Young go phers stay awake longer than the old.
They still need to have time to get fatty stocks for a winter fast. Sandstone is larger than other gophers in our country. The length of a body reaches 25 - 27 cm, weight up to 500 - 700 gr. Fur is painted in sandy-yellow colors, and in cool foothills it is green.
In March from 4 up to 12 cubs appear inside the hole, and already in the middle of April get out to a surface. From time to time they arrange amusing fuss near a hole, but on the first alarm of a danger hide in a refuge.
It is very cautious and tries to hide in good time in a hole or other place. There, where it often is being disturbed, eats only in the early morning and in the late evening. Summer heat also makes it stay under the ground.
It is fed with the different food - from bulbs of a goose onions and tulips up to irises and ice-holes, from mint and dandelions up to acacia flowers for the sake of which climbs up prickly bushes.
In June the vegetation dries up, and old gophers lie in the years hibernation passing in winter.
Geographical coordinates of Valley of Castles in Toraygyr mountains: N43°21'11.47" E79°04'00.41"

Sand-launce (Arenaria). Sand-launce (Arenaria). Sand-launce (Arenaria). Sand-launce (Arenaria). Sand-launce (Arenaria). Sand-launce (Arenaria). Sand-launce (Arenaria).

Information is given and developed
 By the deserved worker of tourism of Republic Kazakhstan, The candidate of pedagogical sciences, the guide - methodologist Lyuterovich Oleg Grigorevich.

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.