The fauna of Ukraine is split between those animals found in Europe and those of Central Asia. There are approximately 28,000 species of animals that can be found in Ukraine, of which 350 are birds, 200 are fish, 21 reptiles, and about 19 amphibians. The protected reserves of Ukraine include 33 Ramsar sites, 3 national parks, and several biosphere nature reserves. The following are the animals that can be found in Ukraine.
The beaver is an aquatic rodent that was once widespread across Europe and Central Asia. However, they were hunted extensively for fur. These rodents roamed across the entire Ukrainian territory until the Princely era when the demand for beaver fur in Western Europe nearly resulted in their extinction. The government stepped in to salvage the remaining beavers by enforcing policies that outlawed hunting. Today there are about 40,000 beavers in Ukraine with a majority thriving in protected reserves and major riverbanks.
9. European ground squirrel
The European ground squirrel is a species of the squirrel that is native to Southeastern and Central Europe. It is found in Southern Ukraine, Austria, Serbia, Slovakia, Romania, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Poland, and Greece. This squirrel lives in colonies that share burrows. Although they still room the wilderness of Ukraine, The squirrel is considered vulnerable because of loss of habitat. In the last decade, the population of squirrels in Ukraine has dropped by over a third.
8. Little egret
The little egret is a white bird with a long but slender black beak. It has a white plumage and yellow feet. The little egret is similar to the great egret but much smaller. It is found in Southern Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Southern Europe. Its main habitat consists of wetlands and marshes. The population of these birds found in Northern Europe is migratory most of them arriving from Africa. They are found in the wetlands of Ukraine where they are permanent settlers.
7. Steppe polecat
The steppe or masked polecat is a mustelid that is endemic to Central Asia, as well as Eastern and Central Europe. The polecat is an adaptive animal that can inhabit dry habitats including semi-arid and steppes. They can also be found in cultivated fields but avoid forested habitat. It is a nomadic animal that will settle in one place until it exhausts prey before moving to another habitat. In Ukraine, they are found in Luhansk oblasts, Zaporizhzhia, and Donetsk. They spend the day in barrows and only leave at night in search of mates or prey.
The mouflon is a wild sheep that originated from the islands of Corsica and Sardinia in the Mediterranean. It is thought to be the ancestors of the domesticated sheep. The mouflon is found across the entire European continent, North America, Argentina and Chile where they are exotic animals. They were introduced to Ukraine in 1894. The mouflon is found in Askaniya-Nova reserve. There are about 1000 roaming across the reserve.
5. Eurasian Elk
The Eurasian elk, commonly referred to as the moose in North America, is the largest species of the deer family. The animal can be found across Asia and Europe from Scandinavia, Ukraine, Southern Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Northern China, Northern Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. A small population once inhabited Northern Poland but is now extinct. The Eurasian elk prefers living in woodland with broadleaved or coniferous shrubs. The elks of Ukraine are found in northwestern Polisia although the population is declining due to hunting.
Martens are small and agile animals of the Mustelidae family. Martens have large paws with retractable claws and bushy tails. They are adapted to living in conifers and deciduous forest of the northern hemisphere. They are solitary animals but can be found in pairs during the breeding season. In parts of Ukraine, they are known to live close to human beings.
The Pied Avocet is a large black and white wader bird of the avocet family. The hind neck, median wing-coverts, and inner scapulars are black while the greater coverts and outer scapulars are blackish-brown. The other parts are white. Both males and females have a similar appearance. They are mainly found in central and Western Asia and the temperate zones of Europe but migrate to Africa during the winter.
The European or Eurasian badger is a species of the badger family that is found across Europe and parts of western Asia. It inhabits has a wide range ranging from wetlands too dry summer deserts an adaptation that has helped the animal thrive across the entire continent. The badger is of least concern in Ukraine because it thrives in every corner of the country.
1. Golden oriole
The Golden Oriole is a small bird that is found in Western Asia and the entire European continent. Both the European and Asian golden oriole are found in Ukraine. They are thought to be closely related because of the similarity in physical appearance. It prefers cooler climates and therefore migrates to Africa during the winter season. The oriole prefers woodlands, gardens, and orchards where they can spend time high in the tree canopy away from potential predators,