Finding of the Steppe Viper in Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine

K. V. Lavrinenko, O. I. Zinenko, M. N. Gavrilyuk


Introduction. The Steppe Viper (Vipera renardi (Cristoph, 1861)) is listed in the Red Data Book of Ukraine and protected in Ukraine according to Berne Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats. The population of the species in Ukraine had decreased during the last decades, its northern range border had shifted to the south. The Steppe Viper has been didn’t find was not recorded in Cherkasy Oblast during the last 90 years.

Purpose. The aim of the present study was to present data on current distribution of the Steppe Viper on the left bank of the Dnieper in Cherkasy Oblast and to put it into context of distribution of this species in Ukraine.

Methods. Materials has been collected during 2014-2019 in Cherkasy Oblast, Ukraine, in the forest-steppe zone.

Results. Steppe viper has been found in two localities: in Zolotonosha Rajon near vil. Khvylovo-Sorochyn one Steppe Viper was observed 05.07.2015 and four specimens were seen 23.04.2019. In addition, two snakes were found and reported on Facebook by user Viktor Oleksenko. Snakes were observed  23.06.2014 near vil. Vilkhy (Zolotonosha Rajon, Cherkasy Oblast). In all cases snakes were observed on open places with herbaceous plants near glades or at the edge of a mixed pine-oak forest, situated on the Dnieper left bank sandy terrace at the place of its’ confluence with Zolotonoshka river. These habitats are not typical for this species in Southern Ukraine, within Steppe zone. Similar isolated populations of the Steppe Viper are existing in other regions of Ukrainian Forest Steppe: Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv and Kyiv.

Conclusion. Our research confirms presence of small isolated populations of the Steppe Viper in the Ukrainian Forest Steppe, on the Dnieper’s left bank. Habitats along the large river valleys have an important role for conservation this species in Forest steppe.


Viper; Vipera renardi; Cherkasy Oblast; Ukraine; Forest steppe; Range; Habitat


Kotenko, T. I, Zinenko, O. I., Havryliuk, S. V., Seliunyna, Z. V. (2012). Steppe viper Vipera r. renardi (Christoph, 1861) of the island Orlov (Gulf of Tendra). Pryrodnychii almanakh (Natural almanac). 18, 39-50. [in Rus.]

Cox, N. A. & Temple, H. J. (2009). European Red List of Reptiles. Luxembourg, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 33.

Konventsiia pro okhoronu dykoi flory i fauny ta pryrodnykh seredovyshch isnuvannia v Yevropi, Bern, 1979 (1998). (Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, Bern, 1979). Kyiv : Minekobezpeky Ukrainy. 1-76. [in Ukr.]

Zinenko, O. I., Bakyev, A. H. (2007). About Change of the Northern Boundary of Distribution of the Steppe Viper, Vipera renardi (Reptilia, Viperidae), in European Russia. Vestnik zoologii (Bulletin of Zoology). 41 (5), 478. [in Rus.]

Tupikov, A. I., Zinenko, O. I. (2015). Distribution of the steppe viper Vipera renardi (Reptilia, Viperidae) in Kharkiv region. Visnyk Dnipropetrovskoho universytetu. Biolohiia, Ekolohii (Visn. Dnipropetr. Univ. Ser. Biol. Ekol.), 23 (2), 172-176. [in Rus.] DOI: 10.15421/011524

Baybuz, A. L., Kukushkin, O. V., Zinenko, O. I. (2011). On the issue of taxonomical status of steppe viper Vipera renardi (Christoph, 1861) in Right-bank Ukraine. Visnyk Dnipropetrovskoho universytetu. Biolohiia. Ekolohiia (Visnyk of Dnipropetrovsk University. Biology. Ecology). 19 (2), 3-12. [in Rus.]

Mizsei, E., Zinenko, O., Sillero, N., Ferri, V., Roussos, S. A., Szabolcs, M. (2018) The distribution of meadow and steppe vipers (Vipera graeca, V. renardi and V. ursinii): a revision of the New Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles of Europe. Basic and Applied Herpetology, 32, 77-83.

Kyzerytskyi, V. (1913). From a note-book of a naturalist. Bulletin de la Societe des amis de la nature de Kharkow. 2, 30. [in Rus.]

Sukhov, H. F. (1928). Materials about herpetofauna of Polatava region. Zbirnyk Poltavskoho derzhavnoho muzeiu (Bulletin of the Poltava State Museum). 1, 251-256. [in Rus.]

Yevtushevskyi, N. N. (1987). Fauna Cherkasshchyny – Metodycheskye rekomendatsyy po okhrane, yzuchenyiu y khoziaistvennomu yspolzovanyiu (Fauna of Cherkasy Oblast – Guidelines for protection, research and economic use). Cherkassy. 1-84. [in Rus.]

Nilson, G., Andren, C. (2001). The meadow and steppe vipers of Europe and Asia – the Vipera (Acridophaga) ursinii complex. Acta Zoologica Acad. Scientiarum Hungaricae. Budapest, 47 (2-3), 87-267.

Viktor Oleksenko A pair of vipers warm in the morning sun (URL: (date: 15.07.2019). [in Ukr.]

Kotenko, T. I, Kukushkin, O. V. (2008). Steppe viper, Vipera renardi (Christ.) is the species of the Red Book of Ukraine. Znakhidky tvaryn Chervonoi knyhy Ukrainy (Registration of Animals under Red Book of Ukraine). Kyiv, 101-132. [in Rus.]

Bulakhov, V. L., Gasso, V. Ya., Pakhomov, O. E. (2007). Biolohichne riznomanittia Ukrainy. Dnipropetrovska oblast. Zemnovodni ta plazuny (Biological diversity of Ukraine. Dnipropetrovsk oblast. Amphibians and Reptiles). Dnipropetrovks : Dnipropetrovsk National University, Societas Herpetologica Ukrainense. 1-420. [in Ukr.]

Vedmederja, V. I., Zinenko, O. I., Goncharenko, L. A. (2007). Kataloh kollektsyi Muzeia pryrody Kharkovskoho natsyonalnoho unyversyteta ymeny V. N. Karazyna. Zmey (Reptilia: Serpentes) (Catalogue of collections of the Museum of Nature at V. N. Karazin’s Kharkiv National University. Snakes (Reptilia: Serpentes)). Kharkiv. 1-82. [in Rus.]

Dotsenko, I. B. (2003). Kataloh kollektsyi Zoolohycheskoho muzeia NNPM NAN Ukrayny. Zmey (Catalogue of collections of Zoological Museum of NNHM NAS Ukraine. Snakes). Kyiv. 1-85. [in Rus.]

Full Text: PDF


  • There are currently no refbacks.
2014 2 36
2015 2 19
2016 1 2
2017 1 2
2018 1 2
2019 1 2



Journal Content