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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

Citizens are advised to be quiet and careful so as not to disturb sleeping animals.

A variety of animals are found in the natural zones of the capital – many of them are listed in the Red Book of Moscow, so it is especially important to take care of their safety. Some species hibernate to survive the difficult winter. Someone has already settled for a long night, someone is just getting ready.

Mospriroda’s specialists told which animals will sleep all winter and when to wait for their awakening.


In September – October, insects practically disappear. Some of them, like animals, sleep all winter. Flies, mosquitoes, beetles take refuge under the bark of trees, fallen leaves, in dry grass. In some species, adults die in autumn, and the cold season survives their offspring in the stage of an egg, larva or pupa.

As adults, some butterflies fall asleep for the winter – for example, urticaria and lemongrass. Insects wake up at the end of winter: the first flies and butterflies can be seen already in February.


For wintering, grass frogs choose reservoirs – streams or small rivers, where they will have enough oxygen for a comfortable suspended animation. They breathe with the skin. Some of them hibernate on land – in burrows or under a thick layer of foliage. Wintering usually lasts from September to March – April. In the Red Data Book of Moscow, herbal and sharp-faced frogs are listed as species belonging to the third and second categories of rarity, respectively.

Hazel dormouse

Hazel dormouse, listed in the Red Book of Moscow as animals with the fourth category of rarity, have already fallen into hibernation. These rodents wait out the winter in their hollows, where they hid back in September. In no case should the animals be woken up, since they will not be able to fall asleep soundly the second time, and due to energy overruns, they may not survive until spring. Hazel dormouse will wake up not earlier than April.


Hedgehogs are also listed in the Red Book of Moscow (second category of rarity). Now they still feed heavily and accumulate subcutaneous fat, and at the same time look for shelter for wintering. Hedgehogs usually settle in bushes, holes, abandoned burrows or between tree roots. The dwelling is insulated with dry grass, leaves, moss. Thorny animals hide in shelters at the first frost. Hedgehogs can sleep for about six months – until April.


Badgers inhabiting the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky administrative areas, listed in the Red Book of Moscow as a species of the third rarity category, will go to the side in November, when there will be stable frosts. In the meantime, they, like hedgehogs, feed intensively and accumulate subcutaneous fat. For wintering, badgers dig cozy burrows for themselves. During prolonged thaws, these animals can wake up and then fall asleep again. Since the middle of March, they no longer fall into a long sleep.


With the arrival of regular frosts, snakes – snakes and vipers – will hide for the winter in shelters made of branches, under driftwood, foliage or in old burrows that will not freeze under the snow. Usually, several snakes can gather in such a place for the winter. They will stay in hibernation until mid-spring.

Depending on weather conditions, snakes can sleep up to eight months. The common snake and the common viper are assigned the second and first categories of rarity in the Red Book of Moscow, respectively.

Experts remind that even now in the natural areas of the city it is necessary to behave quietly and carefully so as not to disturb the sleeping inhabitants. Having noticed the awakened animals in autumn or winter, you do not need to touch them: many will quickly find a new refuge for themselves and fall asleep again.

Mospriroda specialists have compiled a calendar of the departure of birds from the capital Hedgehogs from Butovo and ermines from Yasenevo: how wild animals prepare for cold weather

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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