Klečka J., Kneblová I. & the Poodří/Odra River Basin PLA Administration: The Poodří/Odra River Basin Protected Landscape Area
More than 25 years have passed since establishing the Poodří/Odra River Basin Protected Landscape Area (PLA) in northern Moravia, now the Moravian-Silesian Region: during that time, a lot of changes in landscape management and in legislation have occurred. Knowledge of nature history in the area has also significantly increased. The above facts as well as other ones caused the necessity to modify the PLA borders and to improve zonation to better reflect the current nature conservation needs and requirements. Thus, the relevant background documents had been elaborated and discussion on such changes was carried out: the process finished March 1st, 2017. The size of the most valuable, the 1st zone has substantially increased. On the other hand, the size of the 4th zone which includes municipal built-up areas decreased. Fishponds are typical and important features in the PLA. For managing them in a proper way, agreements with users ensuring management measures and technologies supporting fishpond ecosystem functions and maintain a huge range of their current values were negotiated and concluded. Particular steps allowing the State nature Conservancy to reach favourable status in subjects and phenomena targeted by nature conservation are applied there based on fishermen´s expert knowledge and working experience from just from the field.
Hlaváč V., Škorpíková V. & Janoška Z.: Tens of Thousands of Birds of Prey Have Been Dying on High-voltage Electricity Pylons in the Czech Republic
Overhead power lines significantly affect wild birds. Although nature conservationists have been dealing with the issue since the 1980s, the number of injured and killed birds has not been decreasing. The fact is caused particularly by lack of robust field data on bird mortality: without them, it is difficult to assess the level of risk possessed by the individual constructions. In 2015, the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic had launched a special project on the topic in the country. During the monitoring, 22 field researchers carefully checked 6,429 kilometres of overhead power lines and 76,432 high-voltage electricity pylons across the country. In total, 1,326 dead birds were found there: of them, 1,170 individuals died due to short circuits (short circuit between energised wires, or short-to--ground) and other 156 specimens as a consequence of collision into the power line cables. The data gathered allow us to estimate that 117,000 – 343,000 birds are annually killed by overhead power lines in the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, the main project´s outputs include assessment of risk caused by the individual constructions which shall be used in technological development of new types as well as for preparing new methodological documents on permitting building high-voltage pylons and restoring overhead power lines in the field.
Kaděra M.: Some Notes on Dead Wood Fauna Conservation
In the article, the author explains some specific patterns in colonising dead wood by insects based on his long-term experience from the field, namely in orientation of dead wood to the cardinal points, dead wood position and dimensions, effects of the light, presence or absence of the bark, dead wood humidity and in distance from other wood which has been infected by the same species or with species with similar bionomics. Further, he also pays attention to some specific features, related to dead wood colonisation by insects. In addition, the article deals with some measures to strengthen some rare species populations, e.g. that of the beetle Dircaea australis, belonging to false darkling beetles or the family Melandyridae which has been recently found as a new species for Moravia and which occurs only in a South Moravian floodplain. At the same time, the author recommends to move fallen huge solitary trees having had the bark, from permanent insolation to edges of forest growths at the light-shadow interface. Thus, such trees are provided with more stable humidity and can be to a significantly greater extent used by saproxylic organisms.
Domčíková T.: Some Aspects of Criminal & Legal Liability. Unauthorised Disposing with Wild Animals and Plants as a Criminal Offence
The article presents some aspects in criminal & legal liability for criminal offences against the environment using examples of unauthorised disposing with wild animals and plants in the Czech Republic. Legal liability includes both liability for offence itself and liability for environmental losses. The individual liability types are not isolated from each other; thus, breaking duties set down by legal regulations can cause both committing the offence and damages to property and the environment. By committing the single crime, a lot of liability relations can be raised. According to the importance of the offence, there are criminal & legal liability and liability for administrative offences. Crime liability is the strictest tool to be applied in the most serious cases only. Moreover, criminal & legal liability can be established, if the crime is committed only to the single individual of, pursuant to Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection, as amended later, the Strongly or Critically Threatened Species or the individual, belonging to the species directly threatened by extinction. The offender of the crime/offence can be a natural as well as a legal/artificial/juridical person.
Jelínková J.: News in the CITES after the 17th Conference of the Parties
The 17th Conference of the Parties (COP-17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 24 September to 4 October 2016. The conference´s main nature conservation success is transfer of the African grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) from CITES Appendix II to CITES Appendix I. Other good news is moving eight African and Asian pangolin species (Manis spp.) also into Appendix I. The Silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis), all sharks belonging to Thresher sharks (Alopias spp.) and devil rays (Mobula spp.) were included into Appendix II. The Parties to the CITES rejected efforts of Swaziland to open legal international trade in white rhino horns. Background for the proposal to list the Western Tur (Capra caucasica) in Appendix II was developed in collaboration between the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic and the Olomouc Zoo. The COP-17 was also successful in conservation of woody plants producing rare wood. All species from the genus Dalbergia or rosewood (except of the Brazilian rosewood Dalbergia nigra, also known as the Pianowood, having been listed in Appendix I.) were included in Appendix II The conference did not adopt stricter protection for African lions (Panthera leo). Nevertheless, export of bones, similar parts and derivatives taken from the wild lions and traded for commercial purposes shall be prohibited. Similarly, the proposal to list African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Appendix I failed, as well as the Canadian intention to transfer the Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) from Appendix I do less strict Appendix II. Globally, all the changes came into force January 2, 2017, in the European Union Member States through Commission Regulation (EU) No. 2017/160 on February 4, 2017.
Hošek M.: The Green Infrastructure: What Has Been Lost in Translation and Why?
Since 2010, the European Commission has been speaking on a new nature conservation approach, called the Green Infrastructure (GI). The document entitled as Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 (2011) states in Target 2 the following: By 2020, ecosystems and their services are maintained and enhanced by establishing green infrastructure and restoring at least 15 % of degraded ecosystems. Moreover, its implementation in practice is definitely not supported by the fact that it is ˇonly” a task within the legally non-binding strategy, contrary to e.g. establishing and managing the EU Natura 2000 network. The analysis carried out in 2012 (Pešout & Hošek) clearly shows that an ecological network in the Czech Republic consists of not only the Territorial System of Ecological Stability in the Landscape (TSES), but also of all territorial nature conservation tools, i.e. Specially Protected Areas, Significant Landscape Elements, etc. Applying such an approach, the ecological network would cover 55 % of the Czech Republic´s whole territory. Nevertheless, what really makes the GI a new and effective tool, i.e. ecosystem service quantification as well as specification of the target – which 15 % of ecosystems and to which state should be restored – has been missing. Therefore, we can ask, whether the GI as seen by “Brussels” can be an inspiration and further professional/technical development, whether nature and the landscape in the Czech Republic can fully benefit from it, etc.
Kukla J.: Some Aspects of Cave Attendance in the Labe/Elbe River Canyon National Nature Reserve
The Labe/Elbe River canyon from the city of Děčín to the German border (northern Bohemia) is an important and monumental landscape unit, being extraordinary even at the pan-European level. A study in the framework of diploma thesis (Kukla 2013) deals with the selected caves´ attendance by visitors in the Labe/Elbe River Canyon National Nature Reserve. For data gathering, records in visitor guest record books were used. In addition, analysis of microbial assemblages/communities collected in various parts of the caves under study was carried out. More detailed information was provided by visitors during a survey in 2011–2013. In total, 564 respondents participated in the survey; of them, 64 % were Germans. The most popular cave, the Loupežnická jeskyně/Robbers´ Cave was on the average annually attended by 650 persons within the study period. The results show that also less known non-karst caves can attract visitors seeking for new experience and adventures as a frequent destination. At the same time, unregulated commercial activities by some companies can significantly increase the visitor number both in caves and in Specially Protected Areas. The conflict with nature conservation interest is particularly caused by attendance during the bat hibernation period: bats including horseshoe bats (Rhinolophidae) are particularly sensitive to any disturbing.
Jongepierová I.: Thirty Years of Research in the Čertoryje National Nature Reserve
From the point of view species richness, the Čertoryje National Nature Reserve (South Moravia) is one of the most valuable sites/areas not only in the Bílé Karpaty/White Carpathians Mts., but also in Europe as a whole. In the global list of the highest number in vascular plants found on plots of various sizes (Wilson et al. 2012), five world records were reported from meadows in the Čertoryje NNR: 13, 44, 105, 116 and 131 species on plots of 0.004, 0.25, 16, 25 and 49 m2. In 2014, the current world record of 43 species/0.1 m2 was equalized at the same site (Chytrý et al. 2015).
By establishing the protected area there in 1987, accessible sites had been mown and regularly fertilized there; livestock grazing had also negatively affected the site. Thus, orchids and other sensitive plant species consequently declined at Čertoryje. In 1987, the first efforts to restore grasslands started and in two years, many new species appeared there, e.g. the Holuby´s orchid (Ophrys holoserica subsp. holubyana), the Bee orchid (Ophrys apifera) or the Pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis). The extraordinary species richness of Čertoryje grasslands has often been studied, which also is an evidence of the site´s importance for knowledge of biological diversity, history, natural processes and relationships within the Bílé Karpaty/White Carpathians Mts. meadow ecosystem. Thus, outputs of many studies are directly applicable in grassland community management and restoration in the field.
Lyčka D.: Is There Lola´s Map of the Býčí skála/Bull Rock?
The article highlights a question whether Anton Loda, the engineer employed by Johann I. Joseph, Prince of Liechtenstein, made a plan of the Býčí skála/Bull Rock Cave (southern Moravia) or whether he did not realize the intention, due to low interest from the Prince´s Office, the Prince himself respectively. A letter found by chance and written by Lola in 1808 is one of the indications. The author also pays attention to recently found map of the Výpustek Cave and to Bernhard Petri, the landscape gardener of the House of Liechtenstein, who built a English landscape park in adjacent town of Adamov as well as on other sites. .
Pešout P.: Nature Conservation in Kyrgyzstan (II.). Protected Areas
In the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, there is a quite developed system of territorial nature conservation. Through protected areas (PAs), the State Nature Conservancy, represented by the State Agency for Environmental Protection and Forestry of the Kyrgyz Republic, protects, conserves and manages important natural monuments as well as well-preserved landscapes including valuable habitats and cultural monuments and last, but not least it provides threatened species with protection. Therefore, there are a lot of PA categories with various protection regimes and management there. The PAs are a backbone of an ecologically network having recently been delineated across the country.
Biological diversity on Kyrgyzstan is extremely valuable and its conservation has been developing there. Nevertheless, while administrative and legal tools can be considered sufficient, this not the case of its implementation which is strongly limited by lack of funds. Although some international nature conservation and development assistance donor organisations have been active in the country, because of really global significance of some nature phenomena, the support to their conservation should definitely be increased there as soon as possible.
Vainer D.: Fair Isle, a Bird Island Where You Never Lose Your Way
Fair Isle is located about 40 kilometres southwest of Shetlands, northern Scotland, the U.K. The small but among ornithologists and birdwatchers well-known island is famous as the site where, thanks to its unique position on the migration route/flyway of many bird species, thousands of birds nest or migrate of birds every year. The Fair Isle Bird Observatory (build in 1948) is used not only by professional ornithologists, but also by visitors who can look and examine the island and its inhabitants really close.