On the base of the elaborated biotopical zonal scheme of the eastern part of the rocky Crimea (fig. 1), biotopical distribution of breeding birds in this region are analysed. Investigations were taken from 1981 to 2001. Methods of quantitative census in routes, circle areas and also of absolute counting ofpairs, broods, nests and singing males were used. In some cases Serensen (S) index of faunistic resemblance were used. It is expressed by a formula S= 2C / (A + B ), where C is number of birds, total for compared biotopes, A and В are species number in each of them.
The base of the biotopical region structure includes various vegetation assemblages and relief formations. 4 biotopical zones are well determined, three of them are made of vegetation assemblages; rocky and freshwater biotopes are intrazonal in this regard. Relief features of the sea coast form a special zone. Significant areas are covered with artificial biotopes.
1. Biotopical structure and ornithocomplexes of the natural vegetation zone
These biotopical zones correspond to vegetation zones - forest-steppe, forest, mountain meadow steppe (yaila).
1.1. Forest-steppe zone of the Southern Crimean Coast and the northern foothills. Surrounds the eastern part of the Main Ridge from the south, east and north, consists of two regions - the southern coast and the northern foothills. Principal types of vegetation are Quercus pubescens Willd. (45 bird species), Juniperus excelsa Bieb. (25 species), open grass (mostly steppe) assemblages. Assemblies of tomillars and bushes are sparsely located in the rocky areas (4 species). Ornithofauna in the natural vegetation zone includes a total of 60 species (59 at the southern coast and 54 in the northern foothills ); 21 species are specific.
1.2. Broad-leaved forest zone. Mostly occupies the crest and high parts of the MainRange slopes. The low subzone is formed by Quercus pubescens Willd. (25 bird species), upper subzone is formed by Quercus petraea( Mattuschka) Liebl., Carpinus orientalis Mill, and Fagus orientalis Lypsky (35 species). A total of 35 bird species nest there, 8 of them are specific for the zone.
1.3. Yaila zone. Occupies the westernmost part of the region. It is a complex of herbaceous and arboreal habitats. Main types of vegetation are steppes, tomillars, weed assemblages; tree vegetation is situated sporadically. A “frame” of biotopical structure is formed by carst craters system, including some microbiotopes complexes, with set of species which are typical for each of them. Ornithofauna of yaila natural vegetation consists of 38 species and is characterized by a wide ecological range.
2. Ornithocomplexes of intrazonal biotopes. Species diversity of these biotopes are limited, but they are quite specific.
2.1 Rocky precipices. These are precipices of 20 and more metres from the base, with steepness more than 55°, formed by dense rocks. They are inhabited by 11 bird species. They are divided in rocks of the south macroslope (9 species), Internal Ridge (9 species) and those situated on yaila plateau (4 species). Three types of nesting habitats are used, formed by nanorelief elements of rocky surfaces.
2.2. Natural freshwater biotopes. The lack of natural water bodies is typical for the region. The largest one is LakeBarakol, its nesting ornithocomplex includes 13 species. 5 types of nesting habitats are used. Ornithocomplex dynamics is determined by fluctuation of water level, change of vegetation structure, and antropogenic influence. 1 species breeds along the water courses.
3. Вiotopical structure and ornithocomplex of the sea coastal zone. The length of the coastline in the region is 80 km. The main role in the formation of biotopes belongs to the geomorphological landscape elements, in less degree to the phytocenotical ones. Biotopes dynamics is related with relief-forming factors.
3.1. Rocky coasts. Are formed by dense rocks, which are characteristic for capes and bulging coast sites. Because of diversity of habitats, available for breeding, they have high ecological capacity. There are 10 breeding species. In contrast to the ornithocomplex of rocks not connected with the coast, 2 typically marine species nest there. There determined two groups of habitats, formed by micro- and nanorelief habitats: 5 is related to coastal precipices and 4 - to rocky small islands.
3.2. Coasts, formed by soft rocks. The coast of bays and some capes are formed by clays, loams and shales. Relief-forming
factors are the most active. There nest 5 species, using 4 types of habitats. In general, nesting ornithocomplex of the zone includes 14 species: 4 of them are obligate-hydrophilic, 2 species are specific. According to the width, the zone is subdivided in two regions, which are different in correlation of biotopical elements - eastern (14 species) and western (about 3 species).
4.Artificial biotopes. Are very various in the investigated area. They are mostly situated in the low zone of the south macroslope of the Main Ridge and in the volleys of the northern foothills, and much lesser in the forest zone and yaila.
4 .1 .Settlements. There are about 50 settlements in the region (34 bird species). There marked out 2 main types of biotopes: building zone, including different buildings and artificial vegetation (33 species, synanthropic ones are the most numerous) and parks (27 species).
4.2.Arboreal vegetation. These habitats are much fragmented, have a simplified structure and poor ornithocomplexes. They include Pinus pallasiana D.Don. (29 species: species structure and composition are determined by closeness, layerness and height of trees), leaved trees areas (28 species), gardens (25 species), vineyards (about 6 species). In total this group of biotopes is inhabited by 46 species.
4.3. Grass vegetation sowing zone. Are situated in the valleys of the northern foothills and eastern part of the south coast. Ornithofauna is very poor (about 6 species).
4.4. Some engineer-technical objects. Are nesting habitats for 18 species, situated out of the settlements, within natural landscape. They are buildings, bridges, breast-walls, dams, piers, quarries (in rocky and clayey rocks), posts of ETL (electro-transmission line), etc.
4.5.Artificial water bodies. Are the most distributed type of freshwater biotopes. For the last time their number has increased greatly in the south coast because of the economical activity. Breeding ornithofauna includes 11 species. It is mostly fully represented on water bodies in the forest-steppe zone. 5 types of nesting habitats are used.
The ornithocomplex structure is subject to fluctuate because of water level, aquatic vegetation growth and pollution. Creation of artificial water bodies results in hydrophilic species distribution.
5. Distribution of rare species and territories, important for their conservation. 11 rare bird species nest in the region (Red Data Book of Ukraine): Shag, Ruddy Shelduck, Short-toed Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Saker, Peregrine, Lesser Kestrel. Black-winged Stilt, Woodchat Shrike, Rock Thrush. 8 sites, important for their conservation are indentified: I ) “Novy Svet ” reserve, 2) the coast which is situated eastward from Sudak and Alchak cape to Meganom cape, 3) Karadag reserve, 4) Kiik-Atlama cape, 5) mount Katran-Yakkan-Tepe and the southern part of Karabi-yaila, 6) mount Karaburun, mount Sarytlyk, mount Koklyuk, 7) Barakolskaya hollow, 8) chain of peaks of the Internal Ridge from mount Ak-Kay to mount Alankyr city with surrounding steppe areas.
Breeding ornilhofauna of the eastern part of the Rocky Crimea includes at least 111 species. The region is characterized by a complex biotopical structure that results in wide ecological range of breeding birds. Ornithocomplexes of arboreal vegetation, open herbaceous, rocky and aquatorial (freshwater and marine) habitats are represented there. Synantropic species play an important role in ornilhofauna structure. 4 species that had nested earlier were not registered.
Expansion of some anthropogenic biotopes results in extension of nesting areas of hydrophilic, arboreal and synantropic species. The region is important for conservation of rare breeding species of birds.Read the paper in a PDF file