Census of Red Book species: rare animals found in the natural territories of the capital

November 29, 2021

Since the beginning of the year, Mospriroda specialists have conducted more than 270 surveys in the natural territories of the capital. Among the Red Book animals, the brown hare, fox, hedgehog, beaver, as well as the tawny owl, long-tailed tit, sparrow hawk and goshawk began to occur most often.

To find out more about rare animals and plants in Moscow, you can use the online project of the City Department of Nature Resources Management and Environmental Protection. Daily on the page in the Instagramsocial network, information about one red book representative of flora or fauna is published.

Common hedgehog

This year, experts often met hedgehogs. Watching them in nature is very interesting. Hedgehog needles can reach a length of three centimeters, and their number sometimes reaches up to six thousand. Each needle is provided with a bundle of muscles lifting it in case of danger.

Hedgehogs were seen in the Tsaritsyno natural-historic park, the Kuskovo forest park, the Zelenogradsky and Altufevsky nature reserves, the Izmailovo, Kosinsky Kuzminki-Lyublino, Tushinsky, Moskvoretsky, Bitsevsky les and Ostankino natural-historic parks. Hedgehogs are listed in the Red Book of the city under the second category.


Brown hare and white hare

Both hares have a gray protective color in summer, but experts can distinguish them: the brown hare is usually larger in size than the white hare, the hind legs and ears of the white hare are shorter than those of the brown hare. The white hare lives mainly in the forest, and the brown hare prefers open spaces.

According to the qualification of the Red Book of Moscow, the brown hare was assigned the first category, and the white hare — the second category. The brown hare was seen in the Zelenogradsky nature reserve, the Izmailovo, Kosinsky, Kuzminki-Lyublino, Bitsevsky les, Moskvoretsky natural-historic parks, on the territory of the Serebryany Bor natural landmark, in the Dolgiye Prudy faunistic reserve, the Severny and the Butovsky forest park nature reserve. And white hare — in the Bitsevsky les.

Brown hare

River beaver

Beavers traditionally live in families in the Setun River Valley nature reserve in the Novo-Peredelkino district. In the Alyoshinka River floodplain, they constructed the largest dam in the capital. The specialists saw rodents in the natural-historic parks Pokrovskoe-Streshnevo, Ostankino Moskvoretsky, in the Zelenogradsky nature reserve, on the territory of the Serebryany Bor natural landmark and in the Brateevskaya Poima faunistic reserve. In the Red Book of Moscow, river beavers have a third category of rarity.



The common fox is the most common and largest species of the fox genus. They can often be seen in the natural areas of Moscow.

Foxes are found in the Tsaritsyno, Ostankino, Moskvoretsky, Kuzminki-Lyublino, Izmailovo, Bitsevsky forest natural-historical parks, Butovsky landscape reserve, Brateevskaya Poima,  Dolgiye Prudy faunistic reserves, Severny and Setun River Valley nature reserves.

Tawny owl and long-eared owl

Tawny owl is a medium-sized owl, spread throughout Europe and Central Asia. In Moscow, this species is listed in the Red Book under the second category of rarity. The coloration of an adult owl allows it to remain almost invisible, melding into the bark of trees. In nature, the tawny owl has two main color variants, or morphs — gray and red. It is noteworthy that chicks from the same brood are colored differently. A long-eared owl is distinguished by tufts of feathers on its head, which it can move: raise, lower or press tightly to the head.

The tawny owl was seen in the Izmailovo and Kuzminki-Lublino nature and historic parks. And the long-eared owl was found in the Zelenogradsky nature reserve, the Brateevskaya poima faunistic reserve, the Bitsevsky forest and the Moskvoretsky nature and historic park.

Tawny owl

Sparrow hawk and goshawk

The goshawk is one of the largest feathered predators. It is almost twice bigger than crow. Upper body of adult birds is dark gray, the lower part of the body is light gray. Light eyebrows are clearly seen above the eyes. In Moscow, they lead a sedentary lifestyle. The goshawk is listed in the Red Book of the city, it has been assigned the fifth category of rarity.

Sparrow hawk is a small predator, smaller in size than a crow. The body is light and slender. It leads a sedentary lifestyle in the capital. Pairs stay on a permanent nesting site, using the same nests for several years. They are located in the crowns of trees. This species has a third category of rarity.

Sparrow hawk

Goshawks are found in all major forest parks of the capital. So, they can be seen in the Tsaritsyno, Moskvoretsky, Kuzminki-Lyublino, Bitsevsky les natural-historic parks, on the territory of the Setun River Valley natural reserve and in the Butovsky landscape reserve. And the sparrowhawk was noted in the Zelenogradsky, Serebryany Bor natural reserves, on the territory of the Altufevsky natural reserve, in the Kosinsky, Izmailovo, Tsaritsyno, Kuzminki-Lyublino, Bitsevsky Forest natural-historic reserve, as well as in the Butovsky landscape reserve.


Long-tailed tit

Long-tailed tits are listed in the Red Book of Moscow under the third category. This small bird got its name because of its very long tail. The second name is given to it in honor of the cutlery, since the shape of the bird's body is very similar to it. The color of the bird's head, neck and abdomen is white, the back and wings are black with pink and brown mottling, and the tail and sides are pale pink.


The long-tailed tit was noted on the territory of the Setun River Valley nature reserve, in the Zelenogradsky nature reserve, Kuskovo forest park, the Skhodni River Valley landscape reserve in Kurkino, the Dolgiye Prudy faunistic reserve, the Severny Nature Reserve, the Butovsky Landscape Reserve, as well as in the Izmailovo, Kuzminki-Lyublino, Moskvoretsky, Bitsevsky les and Tsaritsyno natural and historical parks.

In Moscow, during regular inspections, Mospriroda specialists record cases of meetings with all inhabitants of natural territories, but pay special attention to observations of the Red Book animals.

Source: mos.ru

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