Colonization ecology of European bird species in the Sub-Polar Urals

Estafjev A., Selivanova N.

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Abstract:

The unique peculiarity of mountain landscapes in the Sub-Polar Urals is that there lies the border between European and Asian bird faunas. This feature allows us to determine basic tendencies in colonization of European bird species. The Sub-Polar Urals region is impacted by human activity to a lesser extent than other areas of the Urals due to three reasons: undeveloped infrastructure; severe climate conditions and most of the territory is a part of the national park “Yugyd Va”. However, anthropogenic landscape transformation, especially development of infrastructure and logging of dark coniferous forest in plains adjacent to the Urals, leads to formation of ecological corridors in the taiga woodland that are represented by mixed and small-leaved forests, floodplain meadow-bush belts, gas and oil pipeline tracks. These corridors, in turn, promote non-taiga bird species irruption. Beginning from the 1970s 12 European bird species new for the region were registered in the Sub-Polar Urals. Such irruption may be caused not only by the anthropogenic landscape transformation but also by a climate amelioration. But the problem needs further special investigations.