Časopis vydává Agentura ochrany přírody a krajiny ČR ve spolupráci se Správou jeskyní ČR a Správou NP Šumava, Krkonošského národního parku, NP Podyjí a NP České Švýcarsko. V tištěné podobě vychází již od roku 1946.
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Ochrana přírody 1/2023 — 24. 2. 2023 — Kulér-Summary — Tištěná verze článku v pdf
Jaskula F.: Fifty Years of the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. Protection and Conservation
Fifty years ago, exactly on 5 March 1973 the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. Protected Landscape Area (PLA) was declared in north-eastern Moravia (Moravian-Silesian Region). At that time communist regime was “enthusiastically” being built and many currently inconceivable intentions had targeted just the Beskydy/Beskids Mts., e,g, support to building weekend cottages for workers from the Ostrava industrial region there or transformation of mountain pastures and meadows into arable land to compensate fields destroyed during coal mining. New infrastructure was being developed in valleys, people were leaving traditional wooden buildings with small fields on mountain slopes and moving into centres of municipalities. Therefore, forest was spreading on hills as well as buildings in valleys. Meadows and pastures including sheep, orchids and insects were declining. The age of sharp political changes after November 1989 became crucial for nature conservation there. The public clearly declared its interest in and concerns for nature and the healthy environment. New modern Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection has radically changed and enhanced the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. PLA Administration role. The Beskydy/Beskids Mts. would have been be there without the PLA anyhow. Moreover, they would be more built-up, more forested, without most of small-size Specially Protected Areas within them, with lower species richness, less picturesque. Hoping that the beauty and uniqueness will be maintained in the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. If somebody will consider their protection and conservation after the next fifty years, we wish he said: “It has been making sense.” ■
Popelář P. & Myslikovjan T.: Forests - the Greatest Wealth of the Beskydy/Beskids Mts.
Fifty years is an enough long time to recognize transformation even in the so stable environment as the forest. Forests in the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. Protected Landscape Area (north-eastern Moravia, Moravian-Silesian Region) had not been influenced by cutting for long centuries. Only Wallachian colonization and settlement running clear-cutting forest management from the 15th to 17th century followed by moving people from valleys to ranges introduced using mountain sites by humans. Continuous forests grazed by sheep with mostly deforested mountain ranges had been in the course of time formed and forests were step-by-step reduced in some places only to 20-30 % of their original cover. After involuntary shepherding run-down and prohibition of grazing in forests, abandoned pastures were reforested. The radical transformation of mostly fir-beech growths in the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. into stands with high Norway spruce (Picea abies) proportion continued during almost the whole 20th century. The clear-cutting management with artificial regeneration preferring Norway spruces definitely dominated there. Since 1945, further loss of agricultural land has been continuing in some waves, due to its afforestation/deforestation or overgrowing in the course of natural succession.
At present there are 42 small-size Specially Protected Areas in the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. forest, most of them being state-owned. Moreover, there also is a significant proportion of church-owned forests there. In addition, the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic has been trying to purchase private forests where many valuable growths have been preserved. Particularly for bird habitats protection and conservation, 810 hectares of forests have been left to spontaneous development outside reserves and at least 5,000 trees have been left to decay based on accepted compensation paid for economic loss. In addition, for thousands of trees owners do not require such compensations. In the Beskydy/Beskids Mts., there has been the same and unchanged task for the State Nature Conservancy: to try to maintain and enlarge forest areas minimally impacted by humans and to support close-to-nature forest management in areas as large as possible ■
Bartošová D. & Tomášek V.: Some Rare Wild Animal Species in the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. Protected Landscape Area in the Course of Time
In the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. Protected Landscape Area (PLA) early years, species protection had targeted particularly large and conspicuous species, e.g. the Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), Grey wolf (Canis lupus), Brown bear (Ursus arctos) or the Western capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus). Huge efforts had been paid to protection and conservation of amphibians and their habitats in this part of north-eastern Moravia. At that time, temporal and technological possibilities to gather the data on wild animals were limited and data were obtained rather occasionally. Only later, thanks to new possibilities, monitoring aimed at other rare and endangered species not so conspicuous and attractive for the general public but being important both for forest and non-forest ecosystems. After establishing the Natura 2000 network related to joining the European Union the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. PLA was declared as Site of European Importance (pursuant to Act No. 114/1992 Gazette on Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection, as amended later, the term for Site of Community Importance, SCI under the European Union’s Habitats Directive). In addition, there are two Bird Areas (pursuant to the above act, the term for Special Protection Area, SPA under the EU Birds Directive) there. Large carnivores are one of the nature conservation subjects there: when applying criteria for favourable conservation status in the habitat and respective species, the most suitable conditions are for grey wolves there, relatively favourable for Eurasian lynxes and least favourable for brown bears. The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) is another specially protected carnivore inhabiting the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. and it is encouraging that camera traps have recently evidenced rare occurrence of the European wild cat (Felis silvestris) within the PLA. There have been efforts to reintroduce western capercaillies. At present rare bird species living in the Beskydy/Beskids Mts. include the White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos), Ural owl (Strix uralensis), Eurasian three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) and the Red-breasted flycatcher (Ficedula parva). ■
Skála P., Andres M. & Sedláček O.: A Ray of Hope for the Eastern Baton Blue (Pseudophilotes vicrama)?
Sharp weather oscillations/fluctuations have recently negatively affected many insect species including butterflies. The most affected ones include not only summer xerothermic species habitats of which change into an inhospitable desert without nectar and host plants during their flight period, but rather surprisingly also some species with spring activities. The latter are for a change decimated by unprecedentedly cold and rainy weather during their flight period which has been becoming a norm as well as a summer drought. They also include the Eastern baton blue (Pseudophilotes vicrama) which can illustratively demonstrate the situation caused by weather extremes. It is the species with specific habitat requirements preferring dry extensive pastures with rich occurrence of early flowering thymes (Thymus spp.). Moreover, even before arrival of the weather extremes, the butterfly was endangered (Farkač et al. 2005). In the current national Red List (Hejda et al. 2017) the species is listed even as Critically Endangered because it became extinct in Moravia as early as about the year 2000 and has been surviving in Bohemia only on the Capital City of Prague´s territory and in the České středohoří/Central Bohemia Uplands. Therefore, based on detailed research an action plan/recovery programme for the species has been launched. At present, the Eastern baton blue is among the most endangered butterfly species in the Czech Republic since it is threatened by decline in and loss of high-quality extensive lower elevation pastures as well as by climate change. Artificial keeping and breeding provide nowadays a real possibility to recover some extinct populations at sites where thanks to well-done grazing management thyme steppes have been coming back. ■
Nepraš K., Filipová L. & Beran V.: Impacts of Game Overpopulation on Non-forest Ecosystems in the Elbe River Valley
Game overpopulation impacts on non-forest ecosystems has been until recently of peripheral interest and thus marginalized by nature conservation. Moreover, it has been becoming clear that game can be an important factor/driver threatening rock steppe habitats, rare wild plant species growing there and consecutively other groups/taxa. The risk is increasing in synergy with other negative circumstances, e.g. extreme drought periods, natural vulnerability of isolated populations or biological invasions. The article presents, using three model sites on rock steppes in the Elbe River Valley how game causes strong disturbances in grassland vegetation and eutrophication of the environment and supports soil erosion. Total herb layer cover declines, dominant species in vegetation change and decline in species of the Festuco-Brometea class occurs. At the sites available species being able to profit from changes in environmental conditions (e.g. Artemisia absinthium, Cynoglossum officinale, Echium vulgare, Isatis tinctoria, Sisymbrium loeselii, etc.) expand. Species diversity significantly decreases there. Rare species with restricted populations are threatened with extinction caused just by grazing down or by consequences of environmental changes, e,g. bare soil vulnerable to erosion can result in loss of a seed bank of the species occurring there. Nutrient input can disturb mycorrhizal relations, etc. Extreme drought periods can in some extent also negatively affect vegetation but game negative impacts are for local vegetation development absolutely decisive. ■
Vild O., Veselý O. & Chobot K.: How Can Databases Profit from Plant Identification Based on Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence?
Analysing pictures by deep neural networks has been step-by-step moving from scientific/expert conferences to everyday life. Its application also includes identification of plants from photos. The applications work simply: a photo of the given plant is taken by a smartphone and in a few minutes you receive the name of the plant. The application Plant.id developed by FlowerChecker, a company based in Brno is one of the most successful. The technology can also be used for identification of series of photos or their databases. The results of comparing plant identification from records made by the authors of the findings and that made by computer applications show that technology recognizing and identifying plants from photos can make easier a review of records in more extensive databases, e.g. the Nature Conservancy Species Occurrence Finding Data Database. Therefore, the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic has been considering to include the above application into the BioLog one used for citizen science in the Czech Republic. ■
Miko L. & Plesník J.: Look Back at the Presidency of the Czech Republic in the Council of the European Union
Due to covid-19 pandemic, many meetings of Multilateral Environmental Agreements including those dealing with various issues related to biological diversity and of some United Nations bodies had to be postponed and rescheduled. Therefore, they heavily accumulated in the second half of 2022. The Czech Republic implemented its already second presidency in the Council of European Union (CZ PRES 2022) just between 1 July and 31 December 2022, thus facing an unprecedented challenge. During the CZ PRES 2022, the 9th Session of the Plenary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) was held in Bonn, adopting reports from thematic assessment of the sustainable use of wild species and from the methodological assessment regarding the diverse conceptualization of multiple values of nature and its benefits. In Prague, an informal meeting of EU ministers of the environment was organized in July 2022 aiming, inter alia, at adaptations to climate change, nature and biological diversity conservation and environmental impacts of war in Ukraine while a meeting of EU nature directors´ was held a month later dealing particularly with nature restoration and protected area management: during both events a field trip were offered to participants. The 8th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) enhanced migratory water bird protection and conservation in Budapest in September 2022. At the 68th Meeting on the International Whaling Commission (Portorož, Slovenia, October 2022) the Czech Presidency, on behalf of the EU, successfully managed adoption of decision trying to reduce marine plastic pollution impacts on cetaceans and marine habitats. In November 2022, the 14th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands taking place in a hybrid format in Wuhan, China, and in Geneva endorsed wetland protection, conservation and sustainable use all over the world. Heavy negotiations carried out during the 19th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES in Panamá City (14-25 November) resulted in strengthening conservation of wildlife species threatened by the international trade. The 42nd Meeting of the Standing Committee to the Bern Convention discussed various nature conservation issues in Europe. Finally, three weeks of the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity, particularly the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, co-organised by Canada and China in Montreal during the last month of 2022 successfully finished by adoption the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, a historic deal and a key international policy document on the topic. Special thanks to the all Czech Republic team members for their efforts, dedication, enthusiasm and hard work during the CZ PRES 2022. ■
Plesník J.: The Anniversary Which Should Not Be In Any Case Forgotten
On 20 June 1922, a group of dedicated and visionary conservationists concerned about the plight of the world’s birds and the wider environment came together to form an international movement in London. Rooted in the foundations of a handful of campaigning national organisations, e.g. the Bombay Natural History Society, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, current National Audubon Society or Vogelbescherming Netherland, the International Committee (later Council) for Bird Preservation (ICBP) steadily gathered momentum and evolved into a powerful global voice for nature through its national sections established in many countries all over the world, i.a. in the former Czechoslovakia in 1925. In 1985, ICBP opened discussion about a new direction for the organization, as a network of strong allied national organisations, and relaunched it as BirdLife International. Its new name and logo was established in March 1993. Today the BirdLife family is at its strongest, with 119 Partners around the globe working to protect birds and their habitats in every continent thus being one of the most important international conservation NGO. Since 1998, the Czech Society for Ornithology has been a BirdLife Partner having been developed itself into a modern NGO since the early 1990s, e.g. playing a prominent role in establishing the EU Natura 2000 network in the Czech Republic. ■
Zajíček P.: Karel Josef Jurende – A Publicist, Propagator of Caves and Naturalist
Karel Josef Jurende, a very popular Moravian publicist and naturalist passed away 180 years ago. His activities have been rather neglected although he wrote and published a lot of at that time topical geographic, ethnographic and natural science information, data and descriptions. Its publications were accompanied by beautiful graphic works. Jurende´s unique contribution was not based on new knowledge and discoveries but particularly on popularising often highly scientific, technical and expert information which had been already known. He personally travelled to many sites and areas and was able to gather and present a lot of information on various topics from all over the world. K.J. Jurende not only described colourfully and attractively facts from natural science but he also highlighted their importance. Thus, he was able to spread the beauty of nature among various social layers of the literate population. ■
Pešout P.: Nature Conservation in Uzbekistan
The current Republic of Uzbekistan boasts from natural science point of view valuable areas of international importance. During implementation of the Ramsar Convention wetlands of international importance (Ramsar Sites) have been identified there, the Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds has delineated 48 Important Bird Areas covering of 4.6% of the Uzbekistan´s territory and nature reserves in the Tian Shan Mts. have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The country elaborated a national programme/strategy and action plan on biodiversity. The Uzbekistan´s legislation also allows establishment of private protected areas and natural areas dedicated to wild plant planting and wild animal keeping and breeding, e,g, two for breeding MacQueen's bustards (Chlamydotis macqueenii). Private protected area management is funded by both legal and natural persons. Management of nationally important protected areas (PAs) is carried out by the State Committee and bodies managed by it and by inspectors, other PAs are managed by local authorities and self-governing bodies, in some case by land owners themselves. Moreover, PAs are preferentially owned by the State and pursuant to the legislation they are accessible to citizens, but entrance into them can be limited or prohibited by the State/Public Administration authorities. Content of management plans for PAs is given by the State Committee which also check their implementation in practice. Monitoring and research in PAs are coordinated by the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan and are financed from the Fund. Nature conservation and landscape protection is among the Uzbekistan´s priorities which has been evidenced by a recent significant increase in the PA coverage and by many threatened species action plans/recovery programme implementation. The future will show how the still rich biodiversity has been maintained despite continuing desertification and increasing demand of citizens in the rapidly developing Central Asian country. ■