Vrška T.: Inevitability of Applying the QSF Principle in Forest Specially Protected Areas in the Czech Republic
In 2018, in the Year of the Czech Primeval/Virgin Forests we celebrate the first declaration of protection in primary/virgin forest-like growths, namely the Žofín/Sophien Primeval/Virgin Forest (1838) and the Boubín/Kubany Primeval/Virgin Forest (1858). Thus, they are among the world´s oldest protected areas. The question on how we are going to protect them has been crucial at present. When seeking for answering the question it is necessary to clearly define the targets and goals. Do we want to allow e.g. sharp changes in woody plant composition towards maintain ecosystem processes and establishing “new” forests? In primeval/virgin forest-like Specially Protected Areas, the QSF, i.e. Quietness, Shelter & Feeding for game species, particularly ungulates, should be applied. At present, only 1.2 % of forests can be classified as natural in the Czech Republic (Adam & Vrška 2009). These ate most often growths in primeval/virgin forest-like Specially Protected Areas and in particular, areas in the National Parks´ Zone I. Within the above growths including consolidates cultural forests, spontaneous development has been used to be declared a priority. Thus, we have more space for active management and maintaining the state determined and conditioned by humans, than spontaneous process conservation and preservation.
Šafář J.: Water Depth of 404 Meters but the Bottom Has Not Been Reached Yet…
The Hranice Karst (Central Moravia) is a relatively small are (approx. 5.5 x 4 kilometres) but of great importance. It consists of Devonian and Lower Carboniferous limestones of the Macocha/Stepmother Abyss and Líšeň formation located south and east of the town of Hranice. In total, there have been 29 caves registered in the area. The Zbrašov Aragonite Caves on the left bank of the Bečva River and the Hranice Abyss in the Hůrka u Hranic National Nature Reserve on the right bank are the most popular karst phenome there. The depth confirmed in the Hranice Abyss Water Hole is 404 metres under the water level but the bottom has not been reached yet. Due to the above depth, the Hranice Abyss is the deepest flooded pit cave all over the world.
Chlapek J. & Servus M.: The European Spruce Bark Beetle Plague in the Jeseníky Mts. Foothills as Seen by Nature Conservation
Since the 1990s, we have been more and more often meeting the term “Norway spruce dieback and decline” not only in northern Moravia, but also in neighbouring regions in Poland and Slovakia. The drivers of the process have been known: the European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) is a final factor. The beetle´s plague was supported by the extreme dry growing season in the Nízký Jeseník Mts. in 2015. Annually, some hundreds of hectares of clearings, barrens and other open space newly appear there. In 2006, the timber volume from cuttings due to bark beetle plague reached almost 2 million cubic metres and the data for 2017 are very similar. Moreover, from a nature conservation point of view, the phenomenon should be a challenge for making forest growths healthier, comeback of the woody plants which should be there due to their ecological requirements instead of recently planted spruce plantations/monocultures as well as many wild plant and animal species related to the former. Even taking into account all the environmental risks related to soil erosion and temporarily decreasing water retention, big worries about European spruce bark beetle plagues are not appropriate.
Pešout P., Hlaváč V. & Chobot K.: Conserving Habitats Inhabited by Threatened Species through Land-use/Territorial Planning (I). Land-use Limits for Nature Conservation Purposes
In the Czech Republic, species protection has traditionally been based mainly on protecting wildlife individuals and parts of species distribution ranges located in protected areas. Nevertheless, long-term viability in most of the threatened species cannot be provided only by using a protected area network and protecting individuals of the above species in the non-reserved landscape outside protected areas is not an effective tool to ensure for a long time their occurrence in the Czech Republic´s landscape. There have been efforts to change the respective legislation for many years aiming at shifting it to habitat protection, conservation and management: the task have repeatedly been included in various national strategies and policies, last time in the updated National Biodiversity Strategy of the Czech Republic 2016-2025 (2016). Moreover, such a change in the legislation for species protection has been a long-lasting procedure. Therefore, it is necessary to apply in the field general nature conservation tools, incentive measures (particularly within the EU Common Agricultural Policy, CAP) and tools setting land-use. The main tool to control land-use is land-use/territorial planning procedure across the country.
Čermák P., Mikita R. & Kadavý J.: Climate Change and Norway Spruce Management. The Brdy Highlands as a Model Area
Since 1990, studies on changes in climate parameters and their effects on plants (Možný et al. 2009; Brázdil et al. 2009; Hlavinka et al. 2009; Pretel 2012) have demonstrated that higher temperatures and higher evapotranspiration together with early beginning of the growing season cause quicker water source depletion in soils (Trnka et al. 2015). Spring and summer droughts demonstrably limit growth in plants. At the same time, they can pose a threat to forest stability and health. The most vulnerable are Norway spruce growths. Modelling future climate conditions for woody species planting using multivariate statistical analysis Random Forest suggests the possible development in spruce forests in the Brdy Highlands (Central Bohemia). Based on the above study, it can be predicted that in 2060, there shall be favourable conditions for oaks, partially favourable for beeches, but totally unsuitable for Norway spruces in the study area.
Větrovcová J.: Results of the Last Eurasian Otter Mapping and of the Long-term Monitoring the Selected Areas by Winter Tracking
According to the approved Management Plan (Poledník et al. 2009), the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) population has been monitored by various methods providing different data which can be used for various purposes. The article focuses on results of the otter´s national-wide mapping and estimations of numbers by winter tracking carried out on 2,492 points in 2016. The data are presented in the context of often debated otter´s predation in trout waters. It is clear that otters in numbers found are not able to decimate trout and grayling populations in trout stocking streams and salmonid fishing grounds in the Czech Republic.
Havíra M. & Čada V.: The European Spruce Bark Beetle in Mountain Spruce Forests –
A Threat or a Challenge?
The article presents important information on the European spruce bark beetle (Ips typographus) managed in natural spruce forests in the Jeseníky Mts. (northern Moravia), having been mostly strictly protected. Moreover, there are fears that they can be lost due to the spruce bark beetle plague. When managing the natural mountain forest we should avoid visions on its future structure, which processes can be there and which woody species composition shall be there in the next two or three centuries. From a long-term point of view, disturbance itself is a certain type of future investments. In the upshot, nature itself shall manage everything: it has after all been showing to us the fact yet. In the context of the current knowledge on natural mountain forests and their present state in the Jeseníky Mts. it is evident that possible European spruce bark beetle plague will not pose a disaster but on the contrary a challenge for even broader developments in the current primeval/virgin forest-like structures and patterns.
Karlíková Z., Šálek M. & Klvaňová A.:
The Little Owl – The Bird of the Year in 2018
The Little owl (Athene noctua) is a biological diversity indicator as well as that of healthy farmland. Only in the early 20th century the bird had been the most common owl in what is now the Czech Republic. The landscape mosaic of various habitats, e.g. grazed sites with patches covered with tall grass, shrubs and trees provides an ideal habitat for a huge range of wild animal species and thus a rich food supply for little owls. Moreover, dramatic changes that have influenced the landscape and the countryside in the Czech Republic are followed by a sad story of little owls in the past few decades. In the agricultural landscape in the Czech Republic, its diversity as well as the Little owl itself have disappeared. The owl´s remnant populations are supported by erecting and putting up nest boxes, appropriate management in the vicinity of nest sites and removing technological and infrastructural traps. Therefore, the 2018 Bird of the Year campaign aims at searching for such traps and at their removing. Because being curious and living close to humans, little owls earned unfairly and wrongly disrepute as bad news and or even death messengers. In the fact, they have currently been threatened themselves with extinction. If we do not change an approach to using the landscape, the Little owl soon disappears forever from the Czech Republic.
Pospíšil T.: The State of the Art in Norway Spruce Growth Dieback and Decline and European Spruce Bark Beetle Plague as Seen by the Forests of the Czech Republic, State Enterprise. Such a Climate Change Has Never Been Experienced by Foresters and Farmers in the Czech Republic Yet
Current weather fluctuations are called climate change by some people, while other suggest that the changes in the fact are a periodically repeated transient phase, and therefore, it is not necessary to become alarmed by the process. Anyway, it is more than clear that in nature, such huge changes have been occurring which have never been experienced by foresters, farmers and nature conservationists. In the Czech Republic, the impact of the change has been the most profoundly reflected in water management and in the state of forests: the latter suffer from bark beetle plague in northern Moravia. At present, it is necessary to develop and implement a strategy or a policy maximally slowing deforestation. Thus, we can get more time to establish forest growths displaying high species, space and age diversity. Only a rich mixture of coniferous and broad-leaved deciduous woody plants of various age ensures that forests shall be more healthy and resistant and resilient against various external natural drivers.
Jelínková J., Plesník J. & Pelc F. : Is the Giraffe Really Threatened with Extinction? Should It Be Protected by the CITES?
Earth's tallest land mammal, the Giraffe, is now globally threatened with extinction, according to the 2016 update to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Over the last 30 years, giraffe numbers have dropped by 40 percent across the globe: habitat loss, civil unrest and illegal hunting have decimated the population. There now are less than 100,000 animals left throughout the continent, with notable declines in East and Central Africa. However, as a positive, populations are increasing in Southern and West Africa. Thus, the status of the Giraffe in the wild has recently been elevated from an IUCN classification of “Least Concern” to that of being “Vulnerable”. Researchers previously split giraffes into several, most often nine subspecies on the basis of their coat patterns and where they lived. Closer inspection of their genes, however, reveals that giraffes should actually be divided into four distinct lineages that do not interbreed in the wild, i..e. species. The finding could alter how conservationists protect and manage these charismatic sub-Saharan animals.
The giraffe was given international protection under the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), also known as the Bonn Convention, at the 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the CMS held in Manila, the Philippines, in October 2017. Thus, with a listing on CMS Appendix II, the Giraffe has for the first time been receiving protection under an international treaty with a listing on CMS Appendix II. The Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic, a national CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Scientific Authority, has started to gather data for giraffe´s possible protection under the CITES. The EU Member States have been debating the issue including applying the precautionary principle. Some giraffe´s populations threatened by poaching and consequent trade shall benefit from other international protection.