Wildlife of the Don Land
Created:Koroleva AlinaLopatko Larisa Tutor:Solodilova V.N.,the teacher of English
As a result, the original steppe landscape has irrevocably vanished in the mists of time.
Those steppe areas once located at the flatlands and watersheds, are now totally tilled and sown with wheat, maize, sunflower, thus making about 60% of the Region`s land.
The natural forest vegetation of the Don Land has undergone a significant transformation. The pineries originally growing at the sandy soils of the Middle Don Land, say, have been completely annihilated, while the total forested area by the middle of the 19th century was reduced to 2.4%.
However those later attempts aimed at artificial forest-growing, enabled to raise the woodiness of the Rostov Region, as to re-establish local pineries, to create absolutely new and original biocenoses in the shelterbelts of the dry steppe lands. This resulted in steppe climate moderation, yield increase, appearance of a large number of previously absent north forest kings of animals in the Region.
As an example, one can mention birds as the best studied animal group of the Rostov Region. During the 200 years period of ornithological research, 329 bird species, 219 nesting species among them, have been registered at the lower Don areas. However in the 19th and early 20th centuries totally vanished from the nesting fauna of the Rostov Region were not less than 8 species, including the war eagle, the peregrine, the black cock.
However, just during the last two or three decades, not less than 30 species have moved to our places, there species representing both originally southern, north-moving birds, and cold-temperature, south-moving ones.
The above situation is typical for Don steppe mammals as well. From out of 87 species of mammals registered at the territory of the Rostov Region in the tarpan, petered out is the saiga, significantly reduced in number are long-eared urchins, fitchews, otters, marmots. Even susliks, have almost completely vanished by now.
The history of the Don-land wildlife convinces us that the maintenance of great biological diversity of both the natural and artificial ecosystems which provides their stability, is completely to the best of our common interests.