Assessment of Conservation Status of Habitats Important for Reptiles within the Southern Bug Eco-Corridor in the Steppe Zone of Ukraine

5 Aug 2019 Steppe Zone, Ukraine, Europe Habitats | Reptiles

Oleksandra Oskyrko

Other projects

13 May 2021

Setting Conservation Priorities for Reptiles and their Habitats in the Ukrainian Bessarabia

Aims of the project include a conservation status assessment of key habitats for terrestrial reptile species along Southern Bug eco-corridor in steppe Ukraine as well as raising of public awareness about local habitats and their value for both biodiversity conservation local residents. The work will also create basis for including of some species to the next edition of Red Book of Ukraine (2019). This work will provide background for writing of master's thesis.


Today Southern Bug river eco-corridor that covers ecotone habitats in the steppe zone, deals with many problems including steppe gullies’ plowing increasing of reservoir’s level, which can lead to significant reduction of suitable habitats for reptiles and increases the risk of species’ local extinction.

Field work is focused on distribution data collecting and studying current state of reptiles in research area. Particular attention is paid to species listed in Red Book of Ukraine and Berne Convention Annexes. An assessment of the habitat’s state is made by counting environmental incidents: deaths, landslides, forest fires, illegal logging, etc. Raising of public awareness consists of designing educational and promotional material. The illustrative brochure includes reptiles’ descriptions, guidance on their distinguishing in the wild and recommendations for local residents on how to behave with them in case of meeting. Networking, lectures and materials’ distributing in local communities, as well as among student organizations, NGOs and educational institutes is also an integrative part of the project. At the investigated sites, visual inspection of the reptiles’ presence is be conducted. Species are identified according to the relevant herpetological literature. Precise distributional data for the specimens found include geographic coordinates, altitude, exposure, vegetation type, habitat and microhabitat types, weather conditions and day time. The research is conducted only by the methods harmless for reptiles. Exploration of habitats and reptiles’ in Mykolaiv region provides valuable information on number of reptile species which are living there and their distribution pattern. The collected data can be used to find the best solutions for the local fauna.

Raising of public awareness about the necessity of habitats Southern Bug conservation is a key result of this study. It becomes possible as a result of meetings with the local nature conservation teams and local focal points. On the basis of this work data on distribution of reptiles will be included to the next edition of Red Book of Ukraine (2019), as well as improving local Red lists of the Mykolaiv oblast. The author’s master's thesis will be written in 2020 using the data collected making the project’s direct scientific contribution to the Ukrainian and world science and nature protection and conservation.

Project Updates

30 Sep 2020

Social media video featuring the project.