Main colonial settlements of the Cormorant within the study area are situated in the wetlands of international importance "Bay of the Berda River, Berdyanskiy Bay and Berdyanskaya Spit", "Obitochnaya Spit and Obitochny Bay", "Molochnyi Liman", "The Central Sivash", "The Eastern Sivash" and also at the coastal areas of Arabatskaya Spit in the Sea of Azov (islands-ships and gas-derricks), in Aktashskoe Lake and in plantations of trees of the Mysovskoe forestry on Kerch Peninsula. Breeding settlements of the Cormorant on the north-western coast of the Sea of Asov and in the Sivash form a significant part of breeding population of this species and in the South Ukraine they are main areas by the number of breeding colonies and numbers of breeding birds. There were 25867 breeding pairs in 14 solitary nesting settlements in 2008. It's necessary also to take into account colonial settlements in the Aktashskoe Lake and in plantations of trees (Mysovskoe forestry) that are in immediate proximity to the Sivash colonies, their numbers were 15781 pairs in 2008. Proceeding from 41648 pairs of breeding Cormorants in total number, these areas may be estimated as the main breeding reservations of the species not only in the Ukraine but also in contiguous countries.
Long-term monitoring of the waterbirds, that has been started in 1975 allows retracing a dynamics of the Cormorant numbers as well as dynamics of the breeding ornithocomplexes that include this species. Current settling of the study areas by this species falls on the period of 1983-1984. The first and quite big breeding settlements of the Cormorant were observed in 1984 (6500 pairs) within two island systems (island system of Koyanly and Soleprom islands – Eastern Sivash).
Separate materials on the Cormorant within the study area occur in different publications but generalized works are absent. For the other areas of the Ukrainian Azov-Black Sea coast quite complete publications already exist, including not only data on distribution and numbers, but also discussion of problematic questions concerning the Cormorant. Therefore our paper is aimed to survey the main breeding sites of the Cormorant along the north-western coast of the Sea of Azov and in the Sivash, including data on structure of wetland ornithocomplexes, types of settlements, long-term dynamics of settlements and numbers of breeding birds, factors having influence on this species. In this paper we don't give a description of reproductive parameters, though they are known for many years within main breeding sites of the Cormorants.Read the paper in a PDF file