FAUNA OF VERTEBRATES OF THE WESTERN UKRAINE. SUMMARY.
The monograph “Fauna of Vertebrates of the Western Ukraine” is a manual, consisting of four sections: — 1. “A Look-back on the Study of Vertebrates; 2. “An Ecological and Systematical Survey of Fauna; 3. “The Practical Significance of Vertebrates”; 4. “Protection of Fauna”. The book includes an Introduction and a Reference list of 222 works of Soviet and foreign authors.
The material of the book was assembled during the period from 1948 to 1972 on the territory of the Volyn, Transcarpathian, Ivan-Frankivsk, Lviv, Rovno, Ternopil, Khmelnytsky and Chernivtsi regions of the Ukrainian S.S.R. In a certain respect the problem of the natural utility of the Fauna of vertebrates belonging to a definite area of the biosphere and the possible ways of increasing it is dwelt upon in the book. The author touches upon the protection of Nature, especially that of the Fauna and the surroundings which are no less important. The main components of these surroundings are the various classes of the vertebrates.
Historical data are given in the first section on the various periods in the study of the fauna of pisces and cyclothone, amphibia, reptiles, aves and mammals of the Transcarpathians, the Ukrainian Carpathians, the Pre-Carpathians, Volyn Podolia and Western Polessye beginning from the X—XI centuries. The first fragmentary evidence of the animal kingdom of the territory between the Tisza and the Western Bug is mentioned in the memoirs of Sigizmund von Herberstein (XVI). Special investigation of a descriptive-systematizing character began in the first half of the XIX century. The second half of the XIX century and the beginning of the XX are characterized by descriptive works. After 1919 the most important works published were those of Y. Sokolovsky, Y. Domanevsky, E. Nezabitovsky, A. Dunayevsky, Z. Hodina, Y. Baigera, R. Kalinesku, K. Kiripesku, E. Botezana, Y. Simionesku, V. Vladikova, K. Veskida, I. Med-retsky, O. Mitsium and others. After the reunion of the Western Ukraine. Western Buko-vina and Transcarpathian Ukraine with the Ukrainian S.S.R. special attention was given to the study of the natural resources and, particularly to the animal world of this district. Of the greatest importance were the works of I. I. Kolishev, P. P. Bakabai, I. D. Shnare-vitch, K. P. Maltchevskaya, E. K. Vlasova, I. K. Opalatenko, L. J. Khozatsky, V. I. Ta-raschuk, V. A. Kushniruk, V. I. Samosha, M. F. Nikitenko, F. J. Strautman, I. V. Mariso-va, V. S. Talposha, I. I. Turyanin, M. P. Rudishin, I. F. Andreev, I. T. Sokura, K. A. Tatarinov and a number of others. The works of Soviet zoologists differ from the investigations of the proceeding periods in that foremost attention is paid to the ecology of mass species, the dynamics of their numbers and practical importance of separate species of vertebrates.
The second section deals with populational ecology, biocoenology, morphometry, the density of population of the principal species of vertebrates. The vertebrates found in the Ukraine number 484 species, among which are: — 53 species of cyclothone and pisces, 17 amphibia, 13 reptiles, 315 aves and 86 mammals. Data is given on the phe-nological peculiarities of the principal species received as a result of personal study and the generalization of well-known publications. The latest data refer to the speed of the growth of young salamanders; the comparative analysis of the food of the pond frog; the colour variations of the common adder; domestication of the black grouse, the white wagtail, the lapwing, the blackbird; the discovery of the brown-toothed al-bion; the morphometry of the young red N. noctula; the ecology of the brown bear; the numbers and the distribution of the lynx; the dynamics of the growth of the aurochs population in the west of the Ukrainian S.S.R.; the regeneration of beavers in the Volyn Polessye; the ecology of the Clethrionomys geareolus, the ondatra, Arvicola terrestus, A. terrestus schermah; the extermination of the Arvicola terrestivs; morpho-metric indexes of the Carpathian population of Chionomys nivalis etc. Data on the Sicosta subtilis and the Microtus oeconomus presents considerable interest Corresponding maps included in the book show the boundaries of the distribution of these species. The section on birds deals with the increase of the areas of breeding of the annulated turtle-dove and the Syrian woodpecker as well as their distribution in the west of the Ukraine. Results of a two-year registration of the increase of the number of 22 species of birds in the forests of the Volynian Polessye are presented in unique diagrams.
The special importance of the representatives of various classes of vertebrates in agriculture and forestry, their sanitary — epidemiological importance, animals important commercially and as game, and the advantages or their utilization are discussed in Section III.. Data for 1961 —1968 are given on the catch of commercial fishing in the western regions of the Ukrainian S.S.R., as well as information on the commercial use of poultry, waterfowl and different mammals. The state of trout breeding in the Transcarpathian and Ivan Franko regions and animal-breeding farms is discussed and possibilities of their development are mapped out. The creation of hunting grounds in the west of the Ukraine is dwelt upon. A classification of the hunting grounds is made on an ecological basis as well as on the optimal density of the principal species of game on lands of I class Bonitas. Suggestions of ways of improving the living conditions of commercial animals are made.
Section IV deals with the measures taken in order to preserve the reproduction of valuable species of fishes, birds, animals and other vertebrates in the west of the Ukraine. A list is given of those vertebrates which require absolute protection (about 70 species) and those which require temporary protection (about 60 species). The necessity to organize a network of reservations in all landscape-geographical zones is substantiated. Methods of enriching the fauna of vertebrates are devised. Other ways of protecting and increasing the number of animals are suggested.
The book “Fauna of Vertebrates of the Western Ukraine” is an original publication, the first scientific generalization of the fauna of pisces, amphibia, reptiles, aves and mammals found in the west of the Ukrainian S.S.R., their ecology, population changes, distribution, significance in different biogeocoenosis, problems of the protection of useful animals. Simultaneously it is a hand-book on many problems of regional faunology.