Herpetozoa (Apr 2021)
The first comprehensive data on the distribution of reptiles within the Southern Bug eco-corridor, Ukraine
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This study provides distribution data for 12 species of reptiles in the Southern Bug eco-corridor located within the steppe zone, Mykolaiv Oblast (province), Ukraine. We compiled 935 records from published literature (324), from public databases (68), and from 12 field surveys we made in 2016–2020 (543). All records were mapped on to a grid of 10×10 km, representing the 294 cells of the studied area. We present new distributional data for Podarcis tauricus. For all the other species, our records add new localities that fall within areas where these reptiles were previously reported. Species richness and Shannon’s H’ index show that herpetofauna diversity was higher in the areas along the Southern Bug River. The maximum number of records within a single cell was 118 (for 10 species) in this oblast. Also the high number of identified reptile chorotypes (nine) within the Mykolaiv Oblast revealed that southern Ukraine is an important zoogeographical territory in Europe. These data provide the basis for future biogeographical and ecological studies and conservation priorities.