Beran L.: The First Evidence on Grey Wolf Breeding in Bohemia after More Than 200 Years
The Grey Wolf (Canis lupus) had become extinct in Bohemia more than 200 years ago. Moreover, due to a wolf increasing population on German-Polish border close to the Czech Republic´s northern border it was possible that these large carnivores would also appear in Bohemia. In 2013, the Kokořínsko Protected Landscape Area (PLA) staff members began to meet the information on watching a wolf or even two there. In 2014 spring some camera traps were installed and only after two weeks, namely on March 19 and 29, 2014, an adult wolf was trapped by a camera near the Břehyně Fishpond within the Břehyně-Pecopala National Nature Reserve. The area where a wolf was captured by a camera is within the former Ralsko Military Training Area used by the Soviet Army in 1968-1990 and it has become a part of the Kokořínsko-Máchův kraj/Mácha´s Country PLA. In late July and early August 2014, the camera traps have confirmed wolf´s breeding there when rearing at least three pups was confirmed. Since that time, the wolves often occur there and the camera traps have produced more than one hundred wolf´s snapshots or video recordings. Since October 22, 2014, the came traps have captured four wolves maximally. Moreover tracks found in late 2014/early 2015 suggest that there have been five animals in the pack. Genetic analysis of wolf faeces shows that the wolves occurring in the Kokořínsko-Máchův kraj/Mácha´s Country PLA are related to those from western Poland and eastern Germany (the German-Polish grey wolf population).
Rejl J. & Mlejnek R.: Bat Wintering Sites/Hibernacula in Non-karst Caves
In the Czech Republic, there are many non-karst caves, which are important bat wintering sites or hibernation roosts, also called hibernacula. In the Svitavská pahorkatina/Svitavy Hills, Moravskoslezské Beskydy/Moravian-Silesian Beskids Mts. and Jičínská pahorkatina/Jičín Hills geomorphological units, there are the most suitable caves for bats. Moreover, non-karst caves, inhabited by bats, can also be found in other geomorphological units, e.g. in the České středohoří/Bohemian Mittelgebirge Hills or in the Broumovská vrchovina/Broumov Hills. In non-karst caves in the Czech Republic, 12 bat species regularly hibernate, namely the Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros), Great Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis myotis), Bechstein´s Bat (M. bechsteinii), Natterer´s Bat (M. nattereri), Geoffroy´s Bat (M. emarginatus), Daubenton´s Bat (M. daubentoni), Whiskered Bat (M. mystacinus), Brandt´s Bat (M. brandtii), Northern Bat (Eptesicus nilssonii), Barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus), Brown Long-eared Bat (Plecotus auritus) and the Grey Long-eared Bat (P. austriacus). Possibility to discover new bat wintering sites in non-karst caves is high, particularly because pseudokarst regions have not been insufficiently studied by speleologists. They include regions such as the Broumovská vrchovina/Broumov Hills where speleological surveys are being carried out, but no bat wintering sites has been found yet. Nevertheless, new non-karst sites can also be discovered in regions considered to having been surveyed sufficiently, e.g. rock-pillar landscapes in the Jičínská pahorkatina/Jičín Hills, Labské pískovce/Elbe Sandstones, the České středohoří/Bohemian Mittelgebirge Hills, etc.
Hartvich P.: The Results of Fish Monitoring at the Double-Slot Fish Pass at Geesthacht, Northern Germany Are Also Important for the Czech Stretch of the Elbe River
Since a new double-slot pass was put into operation at Geesthacht, Schleswig-Holstein, northern Germany, an extensive, long-term fish ecological monitoring has been performed, which also includes the old bypass facility on the southern river bank. The implemented transponder technology provides important insights into the different traceability of the two fish passes, as the results often vary depending on the individual species. Daily counts show that the double-slot pass is used by about eight times more fish than the simple bypass. In addition, the species richness using the double-slot pass is greater than that of the bypass, covering 43 rather than 37 species, respectively. The findings show that some species prefer ascending the double-slot pass located on the point bank, while more powerful swimmers may choose to use the simple bypass on the cut bank.
Utilization of the devices facilitates continuous reliable data gathering even during high discharges and harsh environmental conditions, while maintaining safe environment for the staff in charge.
Uhlíková J., Vorel A. & Šíma J.: Analysis of the 13-Year-Period of Payments as Financial Compensations for Losses Caused by the European Beaver in the Czech Republic
In September 2013, the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic approved the Management Plan for the European Beaver (Castor fiber) in the Czech Republic. Among the tasks of the document, there is also an analysis of payments as financial compensations for losses caused by the above rodent species. Pursuant to Act No. 115/2000 Gazette on Providing Compensation for Loss Caused by Selected Specially Protected Species, as amended later, the Government financially compensates losses caused by the European Beaver on permanent growths, i.e. mainly damages to woody plants, and on crops which have not been harvested yet. The analysis was based on data included in applications submitted to Regional Offices in 2000 – 2013. The applicants were divided into four groups: natural persons, juridical bodies/legal persons, municipalities and governmental bodies. Similarly, losses were classified into six categories. In the period under study, the compensation payments for losses caused by the European Beaver reached 71,707,217.00 CZK (2.6 million euros) in eight Czech Republic´s regions: in total, 182 applications were submitted to the respective Regional Offices. Of the all payments, 85.8 % had to be allocated for governmental bodies; the highest proportion of payments went to the Forests of the Czech Republic, state enterprise (57.7%). From a point of view of the loss classification categories, the highest proportion was paid for damages caused on forest growths. In the article, reasonability of the finances having been paid is debated and conceptual changes in providing payments as financial compensations for losses caused by the European Beaver in the Czech Republic are proposed.
Hubený P.: After the European Spruce Bark Beetle Plague…. (Twenty Years After)
Norway spruce forests in the Modravské slatě/Modrava Fen, the Šumava/Bohemian Forest Mts. National Park, had been disturbed by the European Spruce Bark Beetle (Ips typographus) plague in 1996. Most of the full-grown growth died there. Because there was an apparent lack of natural regeneration across the greater part of the area, tree seedlings were planted, reaching the density of approx. 1,200 individuals per hectare there. At present, the total restoration density is 3,165 individuals per hectare. After twenty years since the dieback of most of forest, there is a Norway spruce growth reaching the density of approx. 5 Norway spruces having a tree trunk diameter larger than 30 centimetres. At the same time, Norway spruces reaching 7 – 30 centimetres in the tree trunk diameter display the density of 190 individuals per hectare there. Understandably, the forest is not homogenous and spruce trees which have survived are distributed rather in clusters. Forest age structure analysis shows that at present there is one spruce older than 200 years per 10 hectares as well as 22 spruces at the age of 100 – 200 years per hectare. There are thousands of younger Norway spruces per hectare in the Modravské slatě/Modrava Fen. Whole deadwood stands or lays there providing the further forest regeneration with nutrients. Thus, a natural, old-growing forest has been evolving at the site.
Poloha M. & Nevšímalová K.: Restoration a Stretch of the Kněhyně Stream, the Beskydy Mts. Protected Landscape Area
According to the building permission issued, the Kněhyně Stream (Zone II, the Beskydy Mts. Protected Landscape Area, northern Moravia) was restored at river kilometre 2,138 up to river kilometres 2,423 in 2003 – 2004. At present, pursuant to Act No. 254/2001 Gazette on Water and Amendments to Some Acts, as amended later (the Water Act), the so-called water management adjustment can be considered as field work which does not need a building permission. That is why it was possible, pursuant to Article 15 of the Water Act, after expiration of the sustainability period, to formally cancel the above waterworks and to declare that the Kněhyně Stream is a non-managed natural stream on the stretch which has been restored. Therefore, technological survey of the current state of the waterworks was implemented, assessing functionality and the state of the restoration and declaring the stream development as natural, not affecting the stream channel stability. The waterworks registered as a Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic´s long-term tangible property was consequently delisted from the registration.
Štefanová T.: Significant Landscape Elements registered by State Nature Conservancy Authorities in the Central Bohemia Region
Significant Landscape Elements (SLEs) are often ignored and neglected parts of nature conservation and landscape protection. To gather the information on the current state in SLEs registered by a State Nature Conservancy authority after the respective administrative procedure/decision, a model updating of these SLEs was carried out in the Central Bohemia Region. In collaboration with the Central Bohemia Regional Office and the respective municipalities, it was found that there are 463 SLEs registered in Central Bohemia. Attention was also paid to the most common difficulties related to SLE registration. Thus, publishing the data on SLEs registered by State Nature Conservancy authorities as well as presenting examples of good practice/lessons learnt is of great importance in this field of activities. The SLEs registered complete the Specially Protected Area network in the Czech Republic, thus being of utmost significance for nature conservation and landscape protection.
Jelínková J.: Permitting Felling Woody Plants in Relation to Other Laws – General Principles and Felling Woody Plants due to Building Activities
State Nature Conservancy authorities are more and more often confronted with opinions that other laws (e.g., Act No. 266/1994 Gazette on Rail Systems, as amended later, Act No. 13/1997 Gazette on the Road Network, as amended later, Act No. 458/2000 Gazette on Business Conditions an Public Administration in the Energy Sectors or the Energy Act, as amended later, or Act No. 254/2001 Gazette on Water and Amendments to Some Acts or the Water Act, as amended later) allow to felling woody plants growing outside the forest without permits or even that they impose a duty to fell woody plants without permits or without informing a State Nature Conservancy authority, pursuant to Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection (ANCLP), as amended later. The author rejects such opinions and judges that except of cases when other law would explicitly exclude application of the ANCLP, felling woody plants should be pursuant to the latter.
Furthermore, the author deals with the decision of the Supreme Court of the Czech Republic on permitting felling woody plants because of planned building activities. She considers the court´s opinion that the serious reason for felling can be given only at the moment, when planning permission on location of a structure comes into force to be rather questionable. In the practice, it can result in only formal issuing the permission, although the Supreme Court itself stated that neither legally effectively located nor permitted structure is automatically a serious reason to permit felling woody plants.
Fischer D., Vlach P. & Jeřábková L.: Have Been the Common Newt and the Common Toad Still Common and Widespread in the Czech Republic?
Using results of amphibian surveys carried out in the vicinity of three linear structures, the worrying state of the species having been still considered as common, namely of the Common Newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), also called the Smooth Newt, and of the Common Toad (Bufo bufo) was found. The Common Newt´s occurrence was reported from less than a third of the sites surveyed, while the Common Toad was found at less than half of the sites. More surprisingly, the newt uses only a small proportion of fishponds available and the toad more than half of them, although fishponds were definitely the most numerous among the sites surveyed. The fact that 84.5 % of the sites under study were inhabited by maximally higher dozens of adult newts is quite alarming. The state of the Common Toad has been even worse: it was found that even 82.5 % of the sites under study were populated by maximally higher dozens of individuals, although the numbers reaching hundreds of animals have been supposed to be there. The resultes presented in the article do not certainly support the traditional idea that the above two amphibian species have been widespread in the Czech Republic occurring almost everywhere. On the contrary, the Common Newt and Common Toad seem not to be common amphibian species in the Czech Republic anymore.
Plesník J.: IUCN Red Data Books and Red Lists celebrate the 50th Anniversary
Among various target species for nature conservation, preservation and management, much attention has been traditionally paid to threatened species. Red Lists of threatened species and their expanded form, Red Data Books, are assessments of the status of species (or other taxa) risk to extinction. The Red List system was first conceived by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in the early 1960s. During the 1970s and 1980s, Red Lists and Red Data Books became important tools to assist the setting priorities for conservation actions and to draw the attention of the public and policy-makers to the urgency and scale of conservation problems at global and regional level, the latter including also European, national, and sub-national ones. The Red List concept has been applied not only for wildlife species, but also for cultivated plants and their varieties, plant communities, domestic animals and their breeds, habitat/landscape types or soils.
Until the early 1990s, the compilation of the above background documents had been essentially ad hoc process based on expert opinion rather than analysis of data, although various indexes were introduced. To address this problem, in 2001, the IUCN adopted new Red List Categories, together with more objective and scientifically rigorous criteria to guide implementation. Thus, the IUCN Red List Categories are defined by quantitative, clear-cut, and scientifically sound criteria.
In the former Czechoslovakia, Red Lists of various taxa or ecological groups were published in the late 1970s and in the 1980s. In 1988 – 1999, a comprehensive illustrated series of Red Data Books of threatened and rare animal and plant species of Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic and Slovak Republic respectively, was issued. Since 1995, other Red Lists have been developed, using new IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria and their modification, in the Czech Republic. The Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic was appointed by the Ministry of the Environment to produce the official Red Lists.
Skalka M.: How the Mole Lives
The Krkonoše/Giant Mts. Environmental Education Centre (in Czech, abbreviated as Krtek, í,e. the Mole) was launched at Vrchlabí in January 2014. The facility, significantly located underground, uses current technologies and offers a lecture room for 80 guests, a multifunctional classroom/club room/laboratory and an exhibition space. Through a glass-wall, it faces to a part of the adjacent castle park which can serve as an open-air lecture room, and to a monastic garden. Within the project entitled as the Comenius viridis, the Centre has developed a comprehensive series of programmes from various disciplines (geology, botany, zoology, pomology and hydrobiology), completing traditional ones for schools and the general public. All the programmes try to help visitors to understand the general patterns in nature, particularly to recognize unique values of the Krkonoše/Giant Mts. National Park.
Slezák V. & John V.: The Lazovsky Zapovednik/State Nature Reserve and Nature Conservation in the Russian Far East
The Lazovsky Zapovednik/State Nature Reserve, established in 1935, is located in the Russian Maritime Province of Primorsky Krai in the Russian Far East, covering 1,200 square kilometres. The protected area harbours unique flora and fauna, being a remarkable mixture of Palearctic and Indo-Malaya wildlife elements. While lowlands are covered by deciduous broad-leaved forests and middle elevations by mixed forest growths, at the elevations higher than 1,100 m a. s. l., there are coniferous growths. Up to know, 1,284 higher plant species, 370 bird species and 79 mammal species including marine ones have been found there. Despite the high species richness, mammals are the most famous wild animals occurring in the zapovednik. The Long-tailed Goral (Nemorhaedus caudatus), a small ungulate with a goat-like or antelope-like appearance, has been declining, now inhabiting particularly coastal rock habitats. The Amur Leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) is one of the rarest carnivores on Earth: less than 70 individuals are estimated to survive in the wild. Moreover, the Lazovsky Zapovednik/State Nature Reserve has become famous due to the Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) occurrence: it is inhabited by about ten individuals of the tiger subspecies, also known as the Amur Tiger. Poaching is the main threat not only to the Siberian Tiger, but to nature as a whole there.