Historical and current distribution of Great Snipe Gallinago media leks in western Ukraine
177 – 182
1 December 22
Ihor Shydlovskyy, Iurii Strus, Mykhailo Franchuk, Daniel Piec, Michal Korniluk
Ivan Franko National University of Lviv, 4 Grushevskogo str., Lviv 79005, Ukraine
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We present the current and historical distribution of Great Snipe leks in the Polesia region of western Ukraine. We use current data from field surveys conducted during the 2020 and 2021 breeding seasons, and opportunistic observations collected since 2009. Analyses of historical data are based on a literature review and our own unpublished data. Brief characteristics of habitat conditions and threats to current Great Snipe leks are provided. During the last two centuries, the breeding range of Great Snipe in western Ukraine moved at least 150 km to the north. We suggest that this shift is caused by habitat loss and degradation, specifically by low water tables due to drainage and climatic change, and changes in land use – mostly the abandonment of grazing and hay production. The current Great Snipe population in the study area covers around 40% of the assumed breeding range in Ukraine and is estimated at 100–150 displaying males.