Ecology, Environment and Conservation Paper

Vol 26, Issue 1, 2020; Page No.(411-419)

THE FORMATION OF SCLEROPHILIC ORNYTHOCOMPLEXES IN THE QUARRIES IN THE SOUTH OF UKRAINE AND THEIR CONSERVATION PROSPECTS

Vasyly A. Koshelev, Olexandr Y. Pakhomov and Viktor A. Busel

Abstract

The ornithocomplexes of the quarries include both domain-specific breeding burrowing birds, or sclerophylls, as well as species from the surrounding biotopes. In the quarries 4 species from the group of primary minnows (Merops apiaster, Coracias garrulus, Alcedo atthis, Riparia riparia) were registered, and and 15 species of secondary burrowing birds (Tadorna tadorna, T. erruginea, Upupa epops, Falco tinnunculus, F. naumanni, Athene noctua, Sturnus vulgaris, Pastor roseus, Passer montanus, P. domesticus, Corvus monedula, Motacilla alba, Oenanthe oenanthe, O. pleschanka), as well as 25 related species of dendrophils, camphophiles. Riparia riparia colonies in quarries count up to 500-1500 pairs, Merops apiaster – up to 100-250 pairs, Coracias garrulus -up to 7-15 pairs. The core of the ornithocomplexes is the Riparia riparia and Merops apiaster. The process of formation of ornithocomplexes of quarries runs as follows: the new quarries in the initial years of their formation are first settled down by Riparia riparia, in 2-4 years there arrive Merops apiaster, then Coracias garrulus. In 5-10 years, with the coming of grassy and shrub-tree vegetation in large quarries appear 20-25 species of the related ornithocomplexes, represented by the steppe birds (Alauda arvensis, Anthus campestris), ruderal (Calerida cristata), shrub-tree (Phasianus colchicus, Perdix perdix, Columba palumbus, Streptopelia turtur, Otus scops, Cuculus canorus, Corvus cornix, Pica pica, Turdus merula, T. philomelos, Lanius collurio, L. minor, Sylvia communis, S. nisoria, Luscinia luscinia) meadow complex (Motacilla flava, M. feldegg, Saxicolla rubetra, S. torquata, Coturnix coturnix). Mixed or multi-species colonies of Riparia riparia and Merops apiaster comprise about 60%. Mixed colonies with associated species (secondary burrowers) comprise up to 10-15 species. Large species of birds occupy for breeding the habitats of crevices and cavities in natural cliffs and quarries. Annual changes in the species composition of bird nesting in quarries increases 2-3 times, the quantitative composition gains 10-30 times, which is related to the climatic, weather, and forage conditions of seasons and human activity. The decrease in the number of species-determinants (primary burrowers) leads to the breach of consortia, accompanied by a sharp decrease in quantity or disappearance of consortment species (secondary burrowers).

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