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2.1.4 The amphibious and the terrestrial vertebrates
choice 1
    In accordance with the data of the report, in the Solomonov channel- Jebriansk Gulf area there are 11 species of amphibians, 4 species of reptiles and 34 species of mammals, representing 100%, 80% and, respectively, 97% of the composition of species of the groups which are typical to the Danube Natural Reserve. Among these, 10 species of mammals are listed in the URB, 3 species of amphibians, l reptile species and 6 species of mammals are listed in the IUCN, 3 species of mammals are listed in the LRE, 11 species of amphibians, 4 species of reptiles and 23 species of mammals are listed in the CB. Thus, 39 species of amphibians, reptiles and mammals make the 53 species in the Danube Natural Reserve (74% are protected in this area).
    A large or significant part of the population of thc following species: Triturus dobrogicus, Bombina Bombina, Hyla arborea, Pelobates fuscus, Emus orbicutaris, Mustela enninea, Mustela ltttreola, Lutrat Lutra can be found in the Danube Natural Reserve, including in the Jebrinaski area. Taking into account the fact the many of these species are menaced by extinction, the Danube Natural Reserve, including the Jebriansky area, is very important for their preservation in Europe. Triturus dobrogicus lives only in the Danube Delta, so it is locally endemic, while its species is endemic in the Danube basin. The Monachus monachus seal is an extremely rare animal, menaced by extinction all over the world. Sometimes this anirnal is noticed in the Jebriansk area. The preservation of these species on the territory of CNJ is extremely important.
    The herpetological fauna of swamps is characterized by the diversity and large number of amphibians, while the reptiles are represented only by two species- Emys orbicularis and Natrix natrix. In the Danube Natural Reserve and in the neighboring territories the most important habitats of these species are situated in 5 areas, among which 4 can be found in the territory of the canal construction on the Solomonov channel -- Jebriansk Gulf.
        - the Jebriansk sand strip and the neighboring area (10 species ofamphibians)
        - the land areas between the Vilkovo-Yrimorskoe road and the fishing ponds and the Jebriausk marshes from the turning of the road to the Leski village to km 7
        - the western bank of the lake arid the sands area discovered within the Jebriansk rocky structure and in sectors 10 and 7 of the Vilkovo forest district ( a representative area, where all the 12 species typical for this zone can be found)
        - the Vilokovo mountain and the north-westem territory (13 species)
    The JNC territories are the most valuable of the Danube Natural Reserve in respect to the diversity of serpent species.
    The land fauna of this area is represented by the usual land species (Erinaceus concolor, Talpa europea, Lepus ew-opaeus, Apodemus agrarius) and by several species which are typical to steppes (Mustela eversmanni, Cricelus migratorius); the latter are not to be found in the secondary delta of the Danube, including in the Bystroe channel area.
    Many hunting species, such as: Rana ridibunda, Ondrata zubetlmicus , VuLpes vulpes, Nyctereutes procyodonides, Sus scrofa, Lepus europeus live in the Jebriansk and Belgorodsk swamps and the BadÔk Gulf area, where the canal is envisaged to pass.
Choice 2
    In accordance with the data of the report, in the area of the canal coustruction corresponding to choice 2 there are 10 species of amphibians, 2 species of reptiles, and 29 species of mammals representing 91.40% and respectively 74 % of the species of the vertebrates groups typical to the Danube Natural Reserve. Among them, 10 species of mammals are listed in the UCR, 3 species of amphibians, one specie of reptiles and 5 species of mammals are listed in the IUCN, 3 species of mammals are listed in the ERL, 9 species of amphibians, 2 species of reptiles and 19 species of mammals are listed in the BC. Thus, 32 species of amphibians, reptiles and mammals are protected in this area, including 78% of the mammals living in this area.
    A significant part, of the population of the following species: Triturus dobrogicus, Bombina bombina, Hyta arborea, Pelobates fuscus, Emus orbicularis, Mustela ertninea, Mustela lutreola, Lutra lutra live in the Danube Natural Reserve, including the Bystroe channel area. Taking into account the fact that these species are menaced by extinction in many European countries, the Danube Natural Reserve is extremely important for their preservation on the European continent. Triturus dobrogicus lives only in the Danube Delta, so it is locally endemic while its species is endemic in the Danube basin. The Rana lessonae frog can be found only in three places in the Danube Natural Reserve, two of which are located in the Bystroe channel area. The felis sylvestris cat and the Monachus monachus seal are very rare animals, the territory of Danube Natural Reserve, including the Bystroe channel area being thus extremely important for their presetvation.
    Most of the amphibians, reptiles and mammals living in the Bystroe channel area have their habitat in the rocky structures near the channels, the banks and the lake. Due to these circumstances, the herpetological fauna is extremely rich.
    In the Bystroe channel area, where the canal is to pass, many important hunting species, namely Rana ridibunda Ondatra zubethnicus, Vulpes vulpes, Nyctereutes procyinides and Sus scrofa, live.
    The comparative analyzing of the species of amphibians and terrestrial vertebrates in the area of the canal construction show that the territory of the JNC where almost all of the animals of the Danube Natural Reserve pertaining to this group live is the most valuable. This area is unique for reptiles, among the territories of the entire Danube Natural Reserve. For example, 80 % of species living in the JNC area are listed in the BC, compared to only 40 % of the species living in the Bystroe channel area.
    Nonetheless, in the Bystroe channel area, as well as in the JNC area, several species (Triturus dobrogicus, Bombina bombina, Hyla arborea, Pelobates fuscus, Emus orbicularis), menaced by extinction in Europe live.
    As a conclusion of the comparative analysis of both projects in respect to the impact on the amphibians and terrestrial vertebrates fauna, the authors of the report do not consider that one choice is preferable to the other, because there is a unitary fauna structure in the entire Danube Natural Reserve area. Nonetheless, the scientists are concerned that the destruction of one of the components of this structure could lead to its total destabilization.
    Our opinion is that, taking into account the criterion of the impact on these animal groups, choice 2 is preferable, because the composition of these groups in the Bystroe channel area is poorer, moreover the surface of the territories for which the modification of the natural conditions is predicted, is much smaller in the case of choice 1 .
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