Archive: Nature | Nature Nature

Environmentalists up in arms over plans for Šumava National Park

31-03-2011 16:09 | Daniela Lazarová

The Šumava National Park – a protected nature reserve in southern Bohemia –is at the centre of a row between scientists, environmental activists and the park’s new management. The park’s new director, former prime minister Jan Stráský, is proposing a radical remedy for the parks bark-beetle infestation problem –a combination of logging and effective insecticides. Critics are up in arms saying the proposed strategy would do irreversible harm to the valuable ecosystems and biotopes in the nature reserve and lower the non-intervention areas in the park from the present 33 to 22 percent, which goes against the general principles of nature reserve protection. Environmental activist Vojtěch Kotecký says the new management is about to throw the baby out with the bathwater.  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

A bear-faced lie: Czech environmentalists fall for a prank

11-11-2010 16:49 | Jan Richter

Czech environmentalists were celebrating last week after they discovered bear tracks in a rail underpass in the north-east of the country. The tracks were deemed proof that the recently-built underpass, designed to allow animals to safely cross the railway line, was actually working. But it soon turned out that the bear track was faked, and that environmentalists had fallen for a prank.  More

Šumava National Park director steps down amidst concerns about its future

02-11-2010 | Jan Richter

František Krejčí, photo: CTK The Czech government wants to implement a radical change of direction in the management of the Šumava National Park in southern Bohemia. On Monday, the director of the country’s largest nature reserve, František Krejčí, stepped down – as he put it – in order to facilitate negotiations between the authorities and the local communities on the planned changes. But Czech environmentalists are concerned the director’s resignation will open the way for firms who want to increase logging in the park.  More

Green group launches ambitious proposal to increase tenfold amount of Czech territory given over to wilderness

14-10-2010 16:16 | Ian Willoughby

Photo: Archive of ČRo7 An environmental organisation this week launched an ambitious new proposal to increase greatly the amount of land in the Czech Republic given over to untamed nature. In fact, the Czech branch of Friends of the Earth wants to see a full 3 percent of the country covered in wilderness – ten times as much as now. I asked the group’s Vojtěch Kotecký why they were pushing for what would be a considerable change.   More

Environment minister wants change of policy on bark beetle devastation

13-09-2010 15:58 | Christian Falvey

Pavel Drobil, foto: ČTK The new environment minister, Pavel Drobil, went to the Šumava National Park at the weekend to get a firsthand look at a problem that has literally plagued the forest for decades – the damage caused by bark beetle infestations. After viewing some of the worst-affected areas he declared the current strategy of leaving nature to clean up after itself untenable, to the dissatisfaction of environmental groups and others, who fear increased logging.   More

Parts of northern Bohemia hit by severe flooding

09-08-2010 15:11 | Jan Richter

Photo: CTK Severe flooding hit the parts of the Czech Republic over the weekend, claiming at least three lives and causing widespread damage. Heavy rain on Saturday swelled rivers and streams in both northern and southern Bohemia, and thousands of people had to be evacuated. More than 4,000 households remain without electricity and gas supplies.   More

West Bohemian spa town gets European funds to fight plant invader

13-07-2010 14:13 | Chris Johnstone

Giant hogweed, photo: Farbenfreude, Creative Commons 3.0 A West Bohemian spa town has won European Union funds to fight one of the most serious environmental problems in the area — an invasive plant that spreads like wildfire and lets almost nothing stand in its way. The project is believed to the first of its kind in the country and could lead to even more ambitious efforts.   More

Golden eagles could return to Beskydy mountains after 100-year absence

05-03-2010 15:41 | Rob Cameron

Golden Eagle, photo: Juan Lacruz, Creative Commons 3.0 Ornithologists in the Beskydy mountains in the far east of the country are celebrating the possible return of the golden eagle after an absence of more than 100 years. A project to reintroduce young eagles to the area appears to have borne fruit – two of the birds have formed a pair, and have now started building a nest.  More

Cuckoo, declining in numbers in Czech Republic, named Bird of Year

04-02-2010 15:18 | Ian Willoughby

Photo: Steve Garvie, Creative Commons 2.0 The common cuckoo has just been named Bird of the Year 2010 by the Czech Society for Ornithology. One of the aims of the annual award is to draw attention to the problems faced by particular species of birds. In the case of the cuckoo, ornithologists report a baffling fall in numbers over the last few decades.  More

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