Pořízek L.: The New and Old Kokořínsko-Máchův kraj/Mácha´s Country Protected Landscape Area
It took quite long eight years to re-declare and extensively enlarge the Kokořínsko Protected Landscape Areas (PLA) by the so-called Mácha´s country (Liberec Region, northern Bohemia). Karel Hynek Mácha was a Czech romantic poet who situated its masterpiece, the romantic poem Máj/May to the bucolic landscape there in the 1830s. In the article, the administrative aspects of the process are presented. The author describes troubles with new PLA delineation as well as lengthy negotiations with landowners, both with private owners and governmental bodies. Surprisingly, for a long time, the new PLA name had not been agreed by all the stakeholders involved. Natural and cultural beauties of the landscape within the area are really unique at least at the national level: they include, inter alia, the boreal forest-like landscape with sandstones, peat bogs, wet grasslands, semi-natural fishponds and abandoned sandpits harbouring many valuable wildlife species. Thus, a part of the former Ralsko Military Training Area and with relatively well-preserved nature has become a part of the Specially Protected Area. The area is inhabited by 163 wild animal and almost 100 wild plant species and subspecies specially protected under national legislation. Approx. 700 butterfly species have been found there. In the region, the most numerous Common crane (Grus grus) population in the Czech Republic nests. Among other remarkable taxa, the Bohemian butterwort (Pinguicula vulgaris subs. bohemica), Bohemian marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza bohemica) or the Alpine longhorn (Rosalia alpina) should be mentioned. In early April 2014, a wolf was shot by a camera trap in the Břehyně-Pecopala National Nature Reserve, now being a part of the PLA. It is supposed that wolves inhabited the area less populated by humans from Germany, namely from the Lausitz/Lusatia region of Saxony where some packs of the carnivore occur and successfully reproduce. In the end, the author highlights the necessity of seeking for compromises, consensus and trade-offs. At the same time, local knowledge and patriotism in the best sense of the word play an important role in such processes.
Horodyská E. & Zmeškalová J.: The Marsh Angelica – Assessment of Implementing its Action Plan after Twelve Years
In the past, the Marsh angelica (Angelica palustris) had occurred in what is now the Czech Republic at seven sites. Moreover, from most of them, the vascular plant species disappeared by the 1950s. The site near the village of Hrdibořice (District of Prostějov, Central Moravia) was the last one. In 2000, the Marsh Angelica Action Plan aiming at species´ survival was approved by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. Consequently, in 2013 assessment of the Action Plan, one of the oldest in the Czech Republic, was finalised. Its main goal has been to recover viable Marsh angelica populations at minimally two sites. As the most suitable sites with good prospects for species´ reintroduction, the sites near Hrdibořice and Černovírské slatiniště/Černovíry Fen near the city of Olomouc (Central Moravia) were selected. At both sites, necessary filed measures have been implemented, e.g. regular mowing and since 1988, the critically endangered wild plant species has been re-introduced there. At the Hrdibořice site, the Marsh angelica population has been fully recovered. For fulfilling the Action Plan main goal, the species´ population should be successfully recovered at minimally one more site. Because the goal could be reached in a relatively short-term period, a proposal to update and to renew the Action Plan for the next five years was approved by the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic.
Trnka P., Hausvaterová M. & Vojtěchovská E.: The Kojetín Fishpond Restoration in the Polabí/Elbe River Basin
The Kojetín Fishpond is a part of the Nature Monument of the same name (District of Jičín, eastern Bohemia), established in 1999. In very intensively used farmland in the Polabí/Elbe River Basin, it harbours very valuable habitats, particularly for water and wetland birds, e.g, the Black-necked grebe, in North America known as the Eared grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) as a breeder, and amphibians such as the European fire-bellied toad (Bombina bombina). At the same time, the artificial water reservoir is included in to the European Union´s Natura 2000 network, namely into the Rožďalovické rybníky/Rožďalovice Fishponds Area (pursuant to Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on the Protection of Nature and the Landscape, as amended later, the term for Special Protection Areas, SPAs under the European Union´s Birds Directive). When the fishpond was taken over from the State Land Office, most of its area was filled by soil, overgrown by continuous reed beds and silted up by sediments, negatively effecting water in the course of the year. The authors describe developing a restoration project, managing calls for tender for various restoration measures and raising funds for the project. Most of the amphibian species have been displaying an increase in numbers there. In addition, the Black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus) attempted to breed there in 2013 after ten years of absence: the in the past common bird species has been dramatically declining in the Czech Republic. Details on implementation of the measures in the field are also given in the article. The project´s outputs have been found within a short period in wild plants and animals. For reaching fishpond long-term viability, new goals have been set-up also presented in the article.
Pešout P., Hůlková J. & Tomášková L.: Ten Years of Payments for Compensation for Complication in Agricultural, Forest and Fishpond Management
In 2004, an amendment to Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection introduced payments for compensation for complication in agricultural, forest or fishpond management caused by nature conservation measures. Thus, by introducing the instrument the Czech Republic joined the European countries which compensate to owners economic loss due to complicated management and production in various ways and volumes. Moreover, since the very beginning implementation of the payments has been facing a lot of problems, e.g. assessments when the payment is really justifiable, the character of economic loss, etc. The question whether governmental bodies have to be also compensated was also debated. The way how to calculate financial/monetary value of the compensation was one of the most difficult issues the State Nature Conservancy has been dealing with. Although the payment for compensation in non-industrial production has been a part of the Czech Republic´s rule of law for ten years, they have been under development because its application in practice has been raising new questions.
Lustyk, V. Oušková, L. Kratochvílová & K. Chobot: 2013 Report on the Conservation Status of Natural Habitats. Assessment of State of and Trends in Natural Habitats of European Importance in the Czech Republic.
In 2013, pursuant to Council Directive 92/43/EEC on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, as amended later, commonly known as the Habitats Directive, the Czech Republic as a European Union Member State submitted an assessment report on natural habitats. At the EU level, the reports are a necessary and due to their extent and unified structure unique information source. They are submitted each six years: the 2013 reports have been the second ones. For the individual habitats, the reports were elaborated separately for the Pannonian biogeograhical region (south-eastern Moravia) and for the Continental region. In total, 60 natural habitat types listed in Annex to the Habitats Directive occur in the Czech Republic (58 in the Continental, 35 in Pannonian biogeographical regions). Thus, 93 assessments were developed by the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic on behalf of the Czech Republic. For drafting the assessments, the following parameters are used: distribution and possible range in the Czech Republic, the area currently covered by it, effects and threats to it, structure and functions and future prospects of the respective natural habitat type. The updated natural habitat mapping layer as of June, 2012 was used as a primary data source. For assessing the individual parameters, expert opinion was also largely used.
Although the comparison between results obtained in the Czech Republic in 2007 and 20013 looks at first sight quite optimistically, a real improvement in natural habitat quality is rather rare. The current results, in comparison with the 2007 ones, are significantly influenced by better and more precise data on the individual natural habitat types gathered in the course of updating habitat mapping data across the country.
Bartošová D. & Kutal M.: A Difficult Comeback of Grey Wolves to the Czech Republic
The Grey wolf (Canis lupus), similarly to the other Central European large carnivores (i.e., the Brown Bear Ursus arctos and the Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx) had been severely persecuted in Bohemia and Moravia for centuries. Thus, the mammalian predator became extinct there. Its last refuge included remote mountains in north-eastern Moravia not so heavily influenced by humans where the last individual was killed in 1914. Due to large carnivore stricter protection across Europe, after lynxes and brown bears also wolves begun to re-colonise some parts of their former distribution range. Therefore, since the mid-1990s, wolves have been regularly occurring, although still rarely, in the Moravskoslezské Beskydy/Moravian-Silesian Beskids Mts. The revival of the Grey wolf to the Czech Republic has been quite difficult despite the fact that large carnivores are an irreplaceable part of nature, functioning as keystone species. In early April 2014, a wolf was shot by a camera trap in the Břehyně-Pecopala National Nature Reserve in the former Ralsko Military Training Area (northern Bohemia), now being a part of the Kokořínsko-Máchův kraj/Mácha´s Country Protected Landscape Area. It is supposed that wolves inhabited the area less populated by humans from Germany, namely from the Lausitz/Lusatia region of Saxony where some packs of the carnivore occur and successfully reproduce. The authors give evidences that the large carnivores cause minimal economic losses on livestock. In addition, the losses are compensated by the Government. The article also presents a review of the Grey wolf´s conservation status and measures taken for its protection in neighbouring countries as well as an outline of the measures to be implemented to effectively protect livestock against large carnivores, e.g. permanently presence of guard dogs, permanent or mobile fencing or fladry installation or use of alarm and scare devices.
Vaněk S.: Altiplano in Bolivia –A Region of Hard Life
In Bolivia, both life-form and habitat diversity includes Amazonian lowlands as well as the high Andes, cloud forests (yungas) as well as the puna, a high elevation montane grassland. The remoteness of many unique areas has been a perfect tool to conserve them. Nevertheless, the South American country does not rely only for the above natural protection, but it actively manages National Parks, reserves or other protected areas.
The Sajama region was the first protected area in Bolivia declared in 1939: since 1945, it has been a National Park. It is located on the Altiplano and featuring a spectacular Andean landscape, its elevation ranges from 4,200 to 6,542 m a.s.l. Important volcanic cones, like Mount Sajama, the highest peak in the country, and the Payachatas are located in the park, together with several lagoons and high lying Andean marshes, where hardy and silicified grasses and a variety of rosette-shaped plants are to be found. Fauna includes 71 bird and 27 mammal species, i.a. the Darwin´s rhea (Pterocnemia pennata), Andean condor (Vultur gryphus) or the Culpeo (Lycalopex culpaeus), although the Vucugna (Vicugna vicugna) is the best known. On the Laguna Colorada within the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Fauna National Reserve, three flamingo species breed. The globally threatened Andean Mountain Cat (Leopardus jacobita) can be only rarely seen: moreover, the carnivore species has been recently studied, using also telemetry.
As all protected areas in Bolivia are inhabited, nature conservation is not possible against the will of the local people. It is necessary to take their traditional rights, existing value systems and social organisation into account.