This page contents short article summaries of the Nature Conservation Journal in English,
published since 2008.
The Podyjí/Thaya River National Park was established in 1991 and it covers approx. 63 km2.
Its main aim is to protect an extraordinarily valuable area with the well-preserved deep Dyje/Thaya River valley with an adjacent complex of semi-natural and natural forests. The protected area is located on the boundary between the Bohemian Massif and the Carpathians: therefore, its geological structure is rather complex. In the western part, metamorphic rocks (phylites and gneisses) dominate, while in the central part crystallic limestones and in eas-tern part granites prevail. The National Park is situated on the edges of distribution ranges of wild plant and animal species, belonging to Central European fo-rest area as well as termophilous ones: the latter have penetrated from southeastern Europe there. The pattern resulted in one of the most remarkable National Park's features – very high wildlife species diversity and at the same time, their relatively high concentration on a relatively small area. Hardly anywhere in Central Europe, a 40 km long river valley which has been only little damaged by human activities and harbours a huge range of morphological features and terrain shapes, has been preserved. In the grandious canyon-like valley, the average depth being 150 m, there are many river meanders, talus slopes, cliffs, rock faces and pillars, an ice caves pseudokarst system and other geomorphologic phenomena. Geomorphologic structure and geological bedrock diversity determines the presence of various vegetation types, from submontane beech forests with the Common Yew (Taxus baccata) in the western part to thermophilous acidophilous oak forests with the rare Garland or Rose Daphne (Daphne cneorum) on the National Park's eastern edge. The occurrence of some perialpine species, e.g. the Purple Sowbread (Cyclamen purpurascens) as well as that of the Showy Mullein (Verbascum speciosum), also known as Hungarian Mullein, and Yellow Oxeye Daisy (Buphtalmum salicifolium), the latter preferring basiphilous oak forests in the NP's central part, should be mentioned. The similar diversity has been described also from dry grasslands, steppe remnants and dry heathlands in the eastern part, where the Heather (Calluna vulgaris) prevails, followed by conspicuous species such as the Great Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla grandis), Dwarf Iris (Iris pumilla) or Early Star-of-Bethlehem (Gagea bohemica). In total, approx. 1,300 vascular plant species have been reported from the Podyjí/Thaya River Basin National Park. The similar species richness can be found among wild animals: e.g., 65 mammalian species and more than 200 bird species, of the latter 140 nesting there. The National Park is the only site in the Czech Republic where the Asmann's Fritillary (Melitaea britomartis) and European Mantispid (Mantispa styriaca) occur. The Podyjí/Thaya River Basin National Park Administration, a governmental body in charge of the National Park's protection and management, has closely been collaborating with the Nationalpark Thayatal Administration on the Austrian side. The transboundary Podyjí–Thayatal NP is a model bilateral protected area, which was awarded by the certificate of quality within the EUROPARC Federation's initiative Transboundary Parks – following nature's design. Both the national parks have been also awarded by the European Diploma of the Council of Europe. Main environmental threats to the area include flow rate fluctuations in the Dyje/Thaya River caused by the Vranov hydroelectric power station, intensive land-use changes in the NP´s buffer zone due to agriculture production, increasing visitors´ numbers and overexploitation of the landscape resulting from adjacent human settlement development. The area is listed in the IUCN – World Conservation Union category II (“National Parks”) and therefore, its mission is to conserve natural values and to provide support to natural processes in ecosystems there.
Due to establishing the first two forest protected areas in what is now the Czech Republic, the Czech Republic has become, in addition to Germany and Finland, the country with the oldest nature conservation tradition in Europe.
In 1838, Count Jiří František August de Langueval-Buquoy declared on his Nové Hrady estate in South Bohemia the protection of the Žofín Primeval Forest (38 hectares) by prohibiting economic utilization of the area. In 1858, long-term efforts of Josef John, the forest manager, resulted in the protection of the Boubín Primeval Forest in the near-by Šumava/Bohemian Forest Mts., being a part of the Schwarzenberg noble family estate. Both the Žofín and Boubín Primeval Forests are among the country's most valuable Specially Protected Areas left to natural succession and they are the evidence of the development of ideas and thoughts in the Czech society – from originally romantic idea celebrating beauties of nature in the case of the Žofín Primeval Forest to application of know-ledge of natural forest dynamics in nature-friendly forest management in the Boubín Primeval Forest. Next forest protected areas were declared at the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Natural scientist Rudolf Maximovič became a leading personality in the newly established State Nature Conservancy after founding of independent Czechoslovakia in 1918. He was the author of the first official list of nature monuments in the Czechoslovakia (the so-called New Year's Day Decree from 1933). By 1938, 142 protected areas where the natural forest remainders (“primeval/virgin forests”) or remarkable geological phenomena prevailed were declared. The World War II disrupted all efforts for establishing the nature conservation legal framework. After closing universities by the German nazists, Alois Zlatník, the well-known phytocoenologist, carried out field survey in the natural forest remainders and proposed a comprehensive network of forest protected areas in Moravia and Silesia. Nevertheless, its establishing failed in the post-war years.
Within the Šumava/Bohemian Forest National Park, a proposed Site of Community Interest (pSCI), covering almost 172,000 hectares was delimitated, as well as a Special Protection Area (SPA) which are inha-bited by a lot of wild plant and animal species protected by the European Community's Habitats Directive, Birds Directive respectively. Both areas are a part of the European Community's Natura 2000 network. The wildlife species living there and protected under the European Community's legislation include i.e the Eurasian Lynx (Lynx lynx), Bullhead (Cottus gobio), Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra), Large Mouse-eared Bat (Myotis myotis), Lesser Horseshoe Bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros), Freshwater Pearl Mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera), Brook Lamprey (Lampetra planeri), Bohemian Menetries Ground Beetle (Carabus menetriesi pacholei), Bohemian Gentian (Gentianella praecox subsp. bohemica), from birds the Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus), Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix), Hazel Grouse (Tetrastes bonasia), Corncrake (Crex crex), Black Stork (Ciconia nigra), Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius), Three-toed Woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), Tengmalm's Owl (Aegolius funereus) and the Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium passerinum). After the hurricane Kyrill which had hit forests in the Šumava/Bohemian Forest and Bayerische Wald/Bavarian Forest National Parks in January 2007, the staff members of the Šumava/Bohemian Forest National Park Administration proposed how to deal with affects of the natural disaster. The proposal was reviewed by the experts in assessing external factors influencing the Natura 2000 sites. Within the assessment, management measures were recommended for the particular parts of the National Park as well as for the individual natural habitat types aiming at removing the hurricane Kyrill affects. The areas which shoauld be left to natural succession process to maintain forest ecosystem integrity were also identified. For the areas where wind damages should be treated, the conditions mitigating affects of the above sudden and huge change in the forest ecosystems were set. At the sites important from an ecological point of view, appropriate technologies for treating the wind damages, the proportion of the raw wood left there and further measures keeping bark boring insects out of spreading and outbreaks were agreed. Implementing all management measures has been coordinated with colleagues from the Bayerische Wald/Bavarian Forest National Park Administration.
Stýblo P. N. & Orel P.: National Network of Wild Animal Rescue Stations in the Czech Republic – History, the Present and Outputs
In the Czech Republic, the first attempts to systematically carry out the care for injured wild animals dated back to the1970s.
In 1983, the Wild Animal Rescue Station in Bartošovice na Moravě had been established, followed by other (Praha, Chomutov, Horažďovice, etc.). In 1997, the Czech Union for Nature Conservation (CSOP) initiated launching a comprehensive wild injured animal care system covering the whole Czech Republics territory. Thus, the National Network of Wild Animal Rescue Stations in the Czech Republic was established, nowadays putting together 28 facilities (stations, sanctuaries and shelters). The main aim of the network is to provide temporarily injured wild animals with necessary help and after the treatment to allow them to be released back into the wild. In addition, the network also deals with communication, education and public awareness. The annual costs for running the network are approx. 30 million CZK (1.18 million euros) while annual costs for the individual stations range from 0.25 to 3.3 million CZK (10,000 – 130,000 euros), depending on the size of the area where the station operates, its equipment and activities provided. The network is funded by national subvention programmes/subsidiary schemes (the Landscape Management Programme), regional and municipal authorities, public fund-raising campaigns (A Wild Animal in Need) and private donors, some activities recently also from the European Unions funds (The Operational Programme “Environment”).
Aiming at integrating various approaches applied by the individual regional branches in assessing measures influencing the Corncrake (Crex crex) populations, the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR) developed a methodology on that issue.
It can be used for issuing expert opinions and authorized expert opinions for assessing human impacts on the Corncrake habitats, which are prepared by the NCA CR’s regional branches. Although the documents are not directly related to performing state/public administration pursuant to Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on the Protection of Nature and the Landscape, as amended later (administrative procedure pursuant to Article 56, opinion on possible significant effects on a European Union’s Natura 2000 ecological network site pursuant to Article 45i and biological assessment pursuant to Article 67), they can be used as a technical/expert background. Information, procedures and techniques included into the methodology can also be a background for assessing the quality of opinions on possible significant effects on a Natura 2000 site and biological assessments. Due to the importance of the assessments not only for the Corncrake protection, the NCA CR should pay proper attention to them.