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Science Journal

18-02-2012 02:01 | Christian Falvey

Miller's Grizzled Langur, photo: Alexandr Pospěch Presbytis hosei canicrus – let’s call him Miller's Grizzled Langur, is one of the rarest primates in the world, with hardly any pictures in existence and very few people having ever seen one. In fact it was believed that the long-tailed monkey was extinct, until scientists observing two natural springs in the Kutai National Park in Borneo came across one grizzled patron after another.  More

“Fish warrior” Jakub Vágner on big fish, small ponds and following your dreams

16-01-2012 15:10 | Sarah Borufka

Jakub Vágner, photo: archive of Jakub Vágner It is rare to catch world-record holding extreme angler Jakub Vágner in the Czech Republic. After all, he spends most of his time on fishing expeditions to remote destinations like the Amazon, in search of what he calls freshwater giants. In his home country, the 30-year-old fisherman has become a star in his own right, and is currently on billboards all over the city as the face of a new advertising campaign for a well-known Czech bank. He also has his own TV show on National Geographic, Fish Warrior, and last year, he appeared on the famous American Tonight Show with Jay Leno. I spoke to Jakub Vágner about fish, the importance of going after your dreams and how he first discovered his love for angling.  More

First gorilla born and raised in Prague zoo relocated to Spain

30-11-2011 15:40 | Pavla Horáková

Moja, photo: CTK Just two weeks after a newborn gorilla was transported from Prague to Stuttgart following repeated failed attempts to reunite it with its mother, Prague zoo has bid farewell to another gorilla, Moja, the first low-land gorilla born and raised in captivity in the Czech Republic. The animal has reached sexual maturity and her minders decided to move her away to prevent in-breeding in the pack. Her new home is the Cabárceno National Park in northern Spain where Moja was transported on Tuesday.  More

The secret of a spider’s disguise

25-10-2011 16:43 | Jan Velinger

Micaria sociabilis Scientists at universities in the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany not long ago revealed fascinating new information concerning mimicry and a type of spider known as micaria sociabilis. Their research suggests that imperfect mimicry, widespread in the animal kingdom and used by this spider, is an advantage when it comes to survival because it offers the best of both worlds. In the spider’s case, it can hide in plain sight pretending to be an ant. But if discovered it can also escape, like a spider, at unexpected speeds.  More

Bison return to Czech forests after 200-year absence

27-09-2011 14:37 | Rob Cameron

European bison at the Ralsko nature reserve, photo: Jana Zechmeisterová, archive of the Army of the Czech Republic Half a dozen European bison have been returned to the wild at the Ralsko nature reserve, a former Red Army military training ground about an hour’s drive from Prague. It’s the latest chapter in what is a remarkable reversal of fortunes for Europe’s largest mammal. Hunted virtually to the point of extinction, in recent years they’ve made something of a comeback.   More

Politicians wade into bark-beetle fray

03-08-2011 15:20 | Jan Velinger

Foto: ČTK A continuing standoff between ecological activists and loggers in the Šumava National Park is continuing to heat up. For more than a fortnight now activists have been chaining themselves to trees slated for felling – stressing that logging commissioned by the park in protected areas is illegal. Under existing regulations, they have argued, trees in the nature reserve must be allowed to decay naturally. The park management has countered by saying that only felling will prevent further locations from being devastated by the bark-beetle. The dispute has now divided senior politicians, some of whom are calling for immediate talks to try and resolve the dispute.  More

Bringing the Mongolian wild horse back from extinction

02-06-2011 17:10 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: CTK Prague Zoo this week announced an important step in its effort to help reintroduce the critically endangered Mongolian wild horse to its natural habitat. Four specimens – one stallion and three mares – born and bred in the Czech Republic are to be transported to the Mongolian steppes to enrich the gene pool of a small protected herd that is to help the endangered breed survive. I met up with the zoo’s spokeswoman Jana Ptacinska Jiratova to find out more about the project and how Prague Zoo came to be involved in it.   More

The university Botanical Gardens, a lush oasis in the centre of Prague

01-06-2011 16:43 | Christian Falvey

In a lovely corner of Prague just south of the busy square Karlovo Náměstí is one of the city centre’s special secrets. The Charles University Botanical Gardens are not the biggest in the city but they have the distinction of a perfect location: crammed into a normal city block between the old town and the hill of Vyšehrad are the enormous greenhouses that with the surrounding eight acres host some 5,000 types of plants from all over the world and provide a peaceful oasis for Prague denizens.  More

Meet Eberhardt von Leipziger Hauptbahnhof: Prague Zoo presents its celebrities

31-03-2011 | Daniela Lazarová

Prague’s Troya zoo is rated as one of the best zoological gardens in Europe with huge open spaces for animals and exciting trails for visitors. The zoo celebrated its 80th birthday last weekend – opening its doors to thousands of visitors and launching a campaign that filled the streets of the Czech capital with exotic animals.  More

The yellowhammer voted Bird of the Year

10-02-2011 13:17 | Daniela Lazarová

It’s official: the yellowhammer has been voted Bird of the Year by the Czech Ornithological Society. The sparrow sized bunting is with us all year round –but its numbers are dwindling. With a bright yellow head and belly it is hard to miss –and moreover makes itself heard with a song that is known as “a little bit of bread and no cheese” in English and “jak to sluníčko pěkně svítí” in Czech meaning “see how brightly the sun shines”. Ornithologists also claim they discern two dialects in the yellowhammer’s call. To find out more about the bird of the year I spoke to one of our leading ornithologists Petr Voříšek.   More

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