Topic Archive Nature

Czech firm develops technique to turn water hyacinths into paper in Kenya

26-08-2014 14:35 | Ian Willoughby

Michal Gorec, photo: CTK After being contacted by a Czech aid worker with links to Kenya, a craft paper producer in North Bohemia has come up with a method under which locals on Lake Victoria will be able to turn water hyacinths – an aquatic plant causing great environmental damage – into high-quality paper. I discussed the unlikely sounding collaboration with Michal Gorec, owner of the Papyrea hand paper mill in Zdislava.  More

Will climate change put at risk European bird species?

14-08-2014 15:33 | Daniela Lazarová

White stork, photo: Monika Betley, CC BY-SA 3.0 The signs of climate change that Europe has been witnessing in the spring and summer of this year have severely impacted some of the country’s bird species. Persistent rain during the spring months, storms and heavy floods decimated the young population of white storks in an unprecedented measure. Many of the newly hatched young died in their nests, elsewhere nests remained completely empty. In this edition of Panorama I talk to ornithologist Petr Voříšek about the fate of this and other endangered bird species in connection with the ongoing environmental changes.  More

Prague Zoo gets new “German-speaking” Indian elephant

14-08-2014 15:25 | Ruth Fraňková

Elephant Ankhor, photo: ČTK As of Wednesday morning, the elephant pavilion at Prague Zoo has a new addition. The 31-year old Indian elephant male, named Ankhor, was transported to the capital from Berlin during the night. Prague Zoo has acquired the bull with a view to increasing its elephant breeding. I spoke to the zoo's mammal curator Pavel Brandl and started by asking what measures were used for transporting the four-tonne mammal:  More

Czech plastic bottle crew “abandons ship” in face of German red tape

31-07-2014 14:40 | Jan Richter

Photo: ČTK Earlier this month, a group of Czech adventurers set out on a 900-km journey to the German port of Hamburg, peddling down the Elbe River on a boat made of plastic bottles. But their voyage has come to an early end as Germany’s river traffic rules made it impossible for them to continue. The group now wants to complete their trip on dry land.  More

Scientists unlock secret of Pravčice Arch

29-07-2014 16:23 | Jan Velinger

Pravčice Arch, photo: CzechTourism A Czech-American team of scientists recently published findings in the prestigious journal Nature Geoscience, after discovering how unique landforms such as the Czech Republic’s Pravčice Arch are created and how they withstand collapse.  More

Plan to make national parks more accessible to public unveiled

23-07-2014 15:20 | Ian Willoughby

Photo: Filip Jandourek The environment minister has just unveiled what he describes as a revolutionary amendment aimed at making the Czech Republic’s national parks more accessible to the public. However, some critics say the planned change could lead to damage to valuable wildlife, while others say the bill contradicts existing legislation on the country’s biggest national park, Šumava.  More

Pavlov animal rescue centre successfully breeds & raises European mink

12-07-2014 02:01 | Jan Velinger

European mink, photo: CTK Stanice Pavlov, a recognised animal rescue station in the Czech-Moravian highlands, succeeded after several years of set-backs in successfully breeding a litter of European mink. The European mink, an endangered animal, has disappeared from most of continental Europe as its natural habitat – wetlands – became more and more rare. And that’s not the only detrimental factor.  More

Giant salamanders become major attraction at Prague Zoo

19-06-2014 15:22 | Jan Velinger

Giant salamander Karlo, photo: Petr Hamerník / Prague Zoo Less than a month ago, Prague Zoo opened a new pavilion for Chinese giant salamanders which has proven to be a major attraction. The project was completed at the cost of 23.6 million crowns, after first being proposed four years ago by the zoo’s director, Pavel Bobek, who found inspiration in Karel Čapek’s famous novel The War with the Newts.  More

Can an endangered salamander alter plans for a nuclear waste facility?

27-05-2014 15:47 | Jan Velinger

Fire salamander, photo: Miloš Turek Locals in the municipality of Lubenec, opposed to the possible siting of a nuclear waste storage facility in the area, have gained a new argument in their favour: the protection of an endangered salamander in the vicinity. The species S. salamandra was only recently spotted in the area again, and environmentalists and inhabitants are saying the need to protect the slippery fellow should see Lubenec struck off the ‘possible locations’ list.  More

Czech scientists denounce Environment Ministry’s plans for Šumava

22-04-2014 15:01 | Jan Richter

Photo: Filip Jandourek A group of Czech scientists is threatening to launch legal action against the Czech Republic over what they see as its failure to provide appropriate protection to the Šumava National Park. The Czech Environment Ministry plans to designate 23 percent of the park’s area as non-intervention zones, off limits for loggers and developers. But the scientists argue over 50 percent of the park should be granted such protection, and say the ministry has given in to pressure from local politicians and logging firms. I spoke to Professor Pavel Kindlmann of Prague’s Charles University about the ministry’s plans.  More

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