general info about Theriologia Ukrainica

Theriologia Ukrainica
(former Proceedings of the Theriological School)

ISSN 2616-7379 (print) ISSN 2617-1120 (online)

2019 Vol. 18 Contents of volume >>>

download pdfGashchak, S., S. Paskevich. 2019. Przewalski`s horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone after 20 years of introduction. Theriologia Ukrainica, 18: 80100.



Przewalski`s horse (Equus ferus przewalskii) in the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone after 20 years of introduction


Sergii Gashchak, Sergii Paskevych


Chornobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology (Slavutych, Ukraine), Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants of Ukraine's NAS of Ukraine (Chornobyl, Ukraine)


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2019. Vol. 18: 80100.




English, with Ukrainian summary, titles of tables, captures to figs


Camera traps (CT) were used in 2018 to assess state of Przewalskis horses (PH) population introduced in the Chornobyl exclusion zone (CEZ) in 1998. Up to 720 km2 (of 2600 km2 total area) were investigated since February till November (31 points of 27 locations), however the assessment was made for MayJuly when PH are more settled. Totally 137 PH were recorded on Ukrainian part of CEZ: 47 stallions & 66 mares (adult & colts), 10 foal males, 4 females and 10 more foals with unknown gender). At least 4 more PH (stallion, 2 mares, 1 foal) are noted on a remote site of Belarus (V. Dombrovsky, or. rep.). All studied foals were born in April-July. There were 13 harem herds with foals (316 ind. each), 4 small infertile groups (2-3 ind.), ca. 6 stallion groups (26 ind. each), and at least 1 normally solitary stallion. Harem and infertile herds kept on ca. 18 sites, stallion groups normally roamed. Two-three groups lived on territories including both Ukrainian and Belorussian parts. During 20072010 PH crossed the river Prypiat and finally founded a local reproducing sub-population. Underestimating of the total population is supposed since not all appropriate sites were investigated. Almost all PH are from the 2nd and higher generations, just two mares had a brand mark received before the introduction. One herd (Ilintsy) had a domestic mare (in autumn she moved to neighbor group, in Stechanka, where in 2019 gave a hybrid foal from the previous stallion). At least, two males (solitary stallion and colt) had signs of hybridization. Thus, total herd of PH grew up in 7 times since 1998, though increase rate in 20092018 was in 1.5 times less than in 19982008. The slowing growth was caused by relative rejuvenation of the mare composition, that actually was natural for the first decade after the introduction. The present demographic indices and reproductive potential do not indicate any negative tendencies in the population development, and evidence the further fitness to the local conditions. PH as before prefer opened landscapes though do not avoid forests. Reforestation of meadows and predominance of woodlands are main obstacles for comprehensive monitoring of PH, and can cause underestimation of the population size. CT allow to sort out this problem.


Przewalskis horse, Chornobyl exclusion zone, adventive species, camera trap, population structure, spatial distribution, long-term dynamic.



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