How Russia’s war against Ukraine affects animals and the environment

Which species are endangered in Ukraine?

War and wild life

The most threatened animals are the endangered species that live in the steppe zone, where most of the war’s destruction has occurred. From eagles to bison, these animal populations are facing grave threats due to Russia’s hostilities.

Ukraine has many rare steppe species whose habitats are small and concentrated mainly in the southeastern part of Ukraine, where the most intense hostilities are taking place. Some live in parts of Donetsk and Crimea that have been occupied for almost ten years. We still don’t know what is happening to the populations of rare reptiles, predators, and marine invertebrates there. When the war is over, research will certainly be conducted, but the results may shock us. How can all of this be restored? It will take time and a lot of resources. We must also be prepared for the possibility of losing something and being unable to restore it to its pre-war form. If this happens, we will have to rethink how to best focus our environmental restoration work in Ukraine. 

Nature takes time to recover. A tree can be destroyed in an instant, but how long does it take to grow back? This is also true for other components of natural systems, particularly population size. The key question is: when will rare species be able to recover, and will they be able to recover at all?

Read the full article by Ostap Reshetylo, associate professor at Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and project manager at World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Ukraine How Russia’s war against Ukraine affects animals and the environment - Ukraїner (