SEEN - SE European Bird Migration Network
The results of the bird fauna study on the territory of Cholginski reserve during autumn migration (1995-2006)

I.V. Shydlovskyy, N.A.Pisulinska
Zoological Museum of the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, Hrushevsky str. 4, Lviv 79005, Ukraine

The territory of the Cholginski ornithological reserve is located within the southern limits of Ukrainian Roztochya, on the territory of Yavorivsky district of the Lviv province. The landscape is formed by the valleys of Shklo and Gnojenets rivers, which connect near the city of Yavoriv and flow into the Sian river. According to the classification of I. Horban (1992) the ?ornithological communities of the open landscapes? are prevalent on the territory of the reserve. Aquatic and amphibiotic habitats, reed (Phragmites australis) and cattail (Typha spp.) grooves on moist and grasslands on the dry soils are composing the landscape of the reserve. The open water body and shallow waters and marshlands near the shoreline are the most valuable habitats, since they receive enough insulation and are rich in plankton. Large territories covered with reeds, cattails and sedges (Carex spp.) serve as breeding habitats for many species of birds (Shydlovsky et al., 2002). Materials and information were collected during visual observations and bird capturing. Birds were captured in the same habitats and localities with the same methods: mist-nets for passerines and traps for waders. All ringing (banding) was done in agreement with the ?Statement about the scientific bird ringing, prepared by the Western branch of the Ukrainian Ornithological Society?. Different type of data were collected alongside with the ringing, such as the fat score, measurements, plumage and moult, weight. Age and sex of the birds were identified with following guides: Lars Svensson (1992), Identification Guide to European Passerines; A.J. Prater et al., (1976), Identification and ageing of Holarctic Waders; Przemyslaw Busse, (1990), Klucz do oznaczania płci i wieku europejskich ptakow wroblowatych; molting and age were also described using ?Moult and Ageing of European Passerines? (Jenni, Winkler, 1994). About 180 species of the birds, which constitute 44% of the entire Ukrainian bird fauna, were recorded on the territory of the reserve during last 12 years of the research. 23 of these species are among those listed in the Ukrainian Red Data book and represent 34.3% of the total number of endangered Ukrainian species. From 50 to 100 thousands of birds fly through this territory annually during 1995-2001, while about 20 thousands of waterfowl are concentrated here during the autumn migrations. Unfortunately, the total number of birds decreased ten times from 2001 onwards. This is caused by the presence of many (up to 40 simultaneously) amateur fishermen that often use private vehicles (up to 28 simultaneously) on the territory of the reserve. The impact of fishermen on the bird population should be taken seriously particularly because two species Charadrius hiaticula and Recurvirostra avosetta breed only in the reserve in the whole Lviv province (first species) or the entire Western Ukraine (second species). Strong impact of the human and cattle (grazing) during the breeding period caused extinction of the breeding population of Anas clypeata, decrease in the total bird number, disappearance of previously common migratory species such as Numenius. However, additional endangered species other than the birds were found on the territory of the reserve. 27 450 specimens of 108 species of 28 families of birds were captured and ringed during the autumn migrations; 25 000 specimens of 58 species belong to the order Passeriformes, 2 340 of 28 species are Charadriiformes, 72 of 6 species ? Anseriformes and 38 specimens of 16 species belong to various other orders. The period of bird capturing and ringing did not last too long each year ? about 30 days on average, but the entire sum of working days during 12 years comprise 380 days. Following endangered species were captured and ringed on the territory of the reserve: two specimens of Tringa stagnatilis, 12 specimens of Numenius arquata and three specimens of Lanius excubitor. Furthermore, a new for the fauna of Ukraine Anthus hodgsoni was captured and ringed here in 2006. Among all birds ringed on the territory of the reserve, 37 were recovered in different countries, including Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovak, Croatia, Estonia, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Portugal, Finland, Yugoslavia, Greece, Spain, Italy, Egypt and Ukraine. Cholginski ornithological reserve is the unique habitat. Considerable changes in natural ecosystems of Yavorivshchyna shows that the unique wildlife territories can be created by a man as a result of mining, and they deserve species conservation status. This type of habitats are the only places useful for migratory bird species deep in the continent and far from the sea shore of large water bodies. They serve as refugees, help to recover and earn food and energy supply necessary for the successful migration. This artificial and already half-recovered (half-natural) ecosystems lost their use for human population and are abandoned. Unfortunately, there are no ways to manage the current conditions of the reserve. We can only sadly state that one of the most important bird wildlife habitat of Lvivska province and Western Ukraine is slowly degrading.

Created by Pronetix 2006