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 pdfSelyunina, Z., S. Pliushch, V. Leontiev. 2019. Invasion of the muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) into the steppes of the northwest Black Sea region. Theriologia Ukrainica, 18: 113119.



Invasion of the muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) into the steppes of the northwest Black Sea region


Zoya Selyunina, Sergiy Pliushch, Vasyl Leontiev


Black Sea Biosphere Reserve, NAS Ukraine (Hola Prystan, Ukraine)


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2019. Vol. 18: 113119.




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


Anthropogenic hydrotechnical changes in the left-bank part of the north-western Black Sea region have led to significant changes in the Black Sea steppe: the channel system has become a conductor in the steppe zone of mesophytic plant species, the formation of wood-shrub, halophytic-meadow and swamp groups along irrigation canals, as well as to the formation of cenoses uncommon for southern Ukraine under conditions of unstable salt and hydrological regimes of the territory, and to the distribution of areas of transformed natural groups with the participation of ruderal and adventitious species. The system of irrigation and drainage channels has become a conductor of plant and animal species uncommon for the Black Sea steppe. Changes in the vegetation led to the disappearance of a number of zonal species of animals, including many protected species, and to invasions of intrazonal widespread alien species. The muskrat, which was acclimatized in the Dnipr in 1944, reached the coastal steppe from the Dnieper through the North Crimean and Krasnoznamensky canals and the irrigation system. The muskrat appeared in 1971 at the Potiivska site of the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve (BSBR), which is located in the eastern part of the Tendrivsky Bay on the Black Sea coast. By 1980, the number of muskrats had been increasing, while from 1983 to 1995 remained at a high and stable level. Since 1995, the number of muskrats has decreased. In 20002010, due to the destruction of irrigation and, respectively, the drainage system no lodges were recorded in the lakes of the Potiivska part of the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve. In the Black Sea steppe, we observed a restorative succession. Since 2010, the restoration of rice has been growing and in 2014 the full irrigation was restored. In 20172019, the number of muskrat lodges on the Potiivska site of the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve increased to the level of the early 90s  1012 lodges (3040 individuals). Further dynamics of the number of Ondatra zibethicus in the Black Sea steppe was determined exclusively by hydrological factors of anthropogenic origin.


irrigation system, Black Sea coastal steppe, Potiivka (Potiivsky site), muskrat.



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