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.
Human society benefits a lot from artificial light at night (ALAN), but in the same time it has led to a significant increase in light pollution of the night sky during the past decades. It has serious consequences on reproduction, navigation, foraging, habitat selection, communication, trophic and social interactions of the biota. Also widespread incursion of ALAN within protected areas has been evidenced for some countries, including the National Nature Parks (NNPs), Biosphere and Nature Reserves in the Steppe Zone and Crimea Mountains of Ukraine. However, the common situation with ALAN impact on protected areas within Ukraine is unclear yet. This research attempted to estimate the level of light pollution on the NNPs, Biosphere and Nature Reserves in the Forest, Forest-Steppe zones and Carpathian Mountains within Ukraine. Kmz layers of these protected areas and the New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness, through Google Earth Pro, were used to calculate the level of artificial sky brightness for 33 NNPs, 2 Biosphere Reserves and 9 Nature Reserves. The results show that majority of studied protected areas are impacted by ALAN, but some of them stay almost under the dark sky still. The situation is unique for Europe, therefore these areas have the special value for biodiversity conservation and can be recognized as refugia where natural habitats are not influenced by ALAN. Based on obtained results, recommendations for improving of nature conservation management are given in the context of ALAN problem.
Thirty-six species of terrestrial molluscs were found in the dry grasslands and rock outcrops of the study area, including three that were not previously known for Central Ukraine: Granaria frumentum, Pupilla bigranata and Mediterranea inopinata. These species are relics related to dry open habitats and require conservation in Ukraine on the national level, G. frumentum is already listed in the Red Book of Ukraine, and the other two should be listed in its next edition. It is proposed to create the new protected areas in the most important newly revealed locations of these species. These rocky areas also retain the high diversity of land molluscs in the region. The invasive snail Xeropicta derbentina was found for the first time on the DNIPRO Upland, on the edge of natural dry grassland. The rare native snail Morlina glabra was recorded for the first time in Kyiv Region, it is proposed to be included into the regional red list.