Distribution of the steppe viper Vipera renardi (Reptilia, Viperidae) in Kharkiv region Cover Image

Распространение степной гадюки Vipera renardi (Reptilia, Viperidae) в Харьковской области
Distribution of the steppe viper Vipera renardi (Reptilia, Viperidae) in Kharkiv region

Author(s): A. I. Tupikov, Olena Zinenko
Subject(s): Sociobiology
Published by: Дніпропетровський національний університет імені Олеся Гончара
Keywords: Vipera renardi; anthropogenic range shift; cadastre; extinction;

Summary/Abstract: The up-to-date knowledge on the current state of populations of endangered species is essential for the development of sound species conservation strategy. The steppe viper Vipera renardi Christoph, 1861 (Reptilia, Viperidae)is vulnerable species listed in the Red book of Ukraine and the Red book of Kharkiv region. The article summarizes the historical distribution of the species and the current state of populations within the Kharkiv region. Data about the current state of populations was obtained during full-scale study of all previously known habitats and a number of potential ones. Eighty percent of historical populations known in the region were not confirmed and probably they had become extinct before the end of the XX century. The cause of such decline is unknown since the majority of historically known populations sites remain preserved until now. Among the most probable factors which have led to local extinction are delayed consequences of fragmentation (lost of genetic diversity, small population size which did not allow recovering after reaching the minimum population size during population fluctuations), pollution and side effects of pesticideapplication. The steppe viper is now absent in the northern forest-steppe part of the region. Thus, the northern border has displaced to the South and now goes along the northern border of the steppe zone. Currently five localities were confirmed within the Kharkiv region. The populations in the suburbs of Chervona Khvylya village and Shevchenkovo town are found by us for the first time.

  • Issue Year: 23/2015
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 172-176
  • Page Count: 5
  • Language: Ukrainian