In the autumn of 2015 current distribution of the lizards of Darevskia (saxicola) complex, introduced in 1960s in Zhytomyr administrative region of Ukraine was studied. During the period from introduction until now Darevskia (saxicola) complex has spread along the left bank of the Teteriv River on the territory about 3.7 km lengths. Beside this was found an isolated population of this species, which located about at 4 km direct distance or 8.5 km shore line distance from the main area of occurring this species. It is supposed that this secondary introduction took place occasionally or intentionally due to holidaymakers (e. g. climbers, fishermen). The publication provides description of the lizards on 15 morphological characteristics and information on the results of spatial modeling potential distribution the rock lizards.
In the article the histological changes in the liver of the common toad, Bufo bufo (Linnaeus, 1758), under conditions of moderate anthropogenic pollution (a vast park surrounded by urban areas) are examined. In the liver parenchyma, numerous changes characteristic of toxic damage were found: hepatocyte necrosis, fatty dystrophy, protein (and hydropic) dystrophy, signs of infl ammation. An analysis of the number of pigment inclusions in the liver shows hyperpigmentation in some specimens and hypopigmentation in others. The presence of hyperpigmentation indicates a moderate degree of damage and activation of compensation processes in animals. This is confirmed by a large population of common toads in this biotope. It is concluded that in anthropogenically modified biotopes some deterioration of animal health can be compensated by the absence of predators and the reduction of food competition.
We identified major factors (both direct and indirect), caused by the hostilities in Ukrainian ATO zone that adversely influence local biodiversity and environment. Damaged conservational territories (objects of nature conservation fund) were assessed. One of the most severe factors, the fires were studied using data from Terra MODIS remote sensing, resulting in a model of localization and spatial configuration of fires on natural and agricultural territories in ATO zone during June-September 2014. In that period, 2901 ignitions were registered in ATO zone, exceeding the numbers for previous four years. It was determined that 81 % of all of the ignitions happened on natural steppe and forest areas, 19 % in settlements. Th e fires damaged 18 % of forest area, 23 % of the steppe area and 14 % of arable lands of ATO zone. For two snake species of Red book of Ukraine — eastern Elaphe dione and more widespread Hierophis caspius — it was shown that most of the animals and their biotopes in Luhansk and Donetsk Regions of Ukraine are under threat. Far example, 65–82 % of 108 finds of these Colubridae registered in the eastern Ukraine are located in the ATO zone and near to hostilities. GIS models also showed that more than 50 % of biotopes, suitable for these snakes, are in the ATO zone or near it. Based on world-wide experience and our own observations, we safely assume that the events of 2014 in the ATO territory can possibly cause far-reaching adverse consequences for natural landscapes, local flora and fauna, and the massive local disappearance of plant and animal populations.
The article describes the study of distribution and morphological features of different morphotypes of sand lizards (Lacerta agilis) of the Kyiv Region. To sum up, 5 morphotypes of L. a. chersonensis were found in the Kyiv Region: bilinear (61.9 %); intermediate form (intermediate version) (17.3 %); trilinear (3.2 %); var. erythro-(viridi-)nota (16.2 %); and the rarest var. con-(bi-)color (1.4 %). According to the morphological features’ varieties erythro-(viridi-)nota lizards differ mostly from all other morphs (Na/Lor)(2/1 — 44.4 %), in the 15–17 rows 18(14–23) scales. They are most oft en found in forest biotopes. The remaining bi- and trilinears are characterized by Na/Lor (1/1 — 50.9 %), in the 15–17 rows 9.5 (6–13) scales.
A new distribution boundary of the dice snake, Natrix tessellate (Laurenti, 1768), in Ukraine has been established. The northern edge currently lies within the valley of the middle course of the Dnipro River: Trakhtemyriv Peninsula, Cherkasy Region on the right side (49°59′ N, 31°25′ E); on the left side in Kyiv Region within Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky District: at a fishermen’s station (50°02' N, 31°17' E), yacht club (Kurinoye Estuary 50°02′ N, 31°29′ E); Lubny, Poltava Region (49°58 N, 33°01′ E). These points are located 70-80 km northwards from the previous boundary of the species home range. The level of Natrix tessellata population polymorphism in the North of Cherkasy Region is high; more than 40 % of specimens are dark-colored.
The article describes the potential distribution area of B. bombina and fi gure out the signifi cant climatic factors of the species at a home range scale. Th is species is listed on Appendix II of the Bern Convention and on Annexes II and IV of the EU Natural Habitats Directive. It is protected by national legislation in many countries, occurs in many protected areas, and is listed in many national and sub-national Red Data books and lists. We collected the occurrence records and a set of climatic variables including 19 factors from 10’ resolution historical (summarizing annual trends, seasonality and extreme conditions during 1961-1990) and projected data (2050) available at the CliMond database. As a result, under climate predictions for 2050 there may be a substantial north and north-west shift of optimal habitat. Under such a scenario B. bombina populations may suff er mostly in the east and south of Ukraine. Under the modelled scenario the species representation in protected areas throughout the home range should be considered, but especially in Ukraine.
Using Ecological Niche Modeling for Biodiversity Conservation Guidance in the Western Podillya (Ukraine): Reptiles. Tytar, V., Sobolenko, L., Nekrasova, O. Mezhzherin, S. - Maximum entropy niche modeling was employed as a tool to assess potential habitat suitability for 10 reptile species and to map their potential distribution in the Western Podillya (Ukraine). We used climate, topography and human impact (assessed by the Human Footprint) as predictor variables. “Isothermality”, “temperature seasonality” and the “mean temperature of coldest month” were three most important factors in predicting habitat suitability and distribution. A profound contribution to the modeling has been displayed by the Human Footprint, meaning that human infrastructure may benefit reptile species. Areas have been distinguished that in the first place should be of interest to biodiversity conservationists targeting reptiles and maps summarizing predicted habitat suitability and species richness were produced for guiding conservation efforts.