Topic Archive Nature

Czech astronomers create country’s third dark skies reserve in western Bohemia

18-09-2014 15:53 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: CTK As of this week the Czech Republic has a third dark skies reserve in the Manětín region, in western Bohemia. Its opening on Monday attracted amateur astronomers from around the country as well as the mayors of the ten villages located in the area. I spoke to one of the country’s leading astrophysicists Jiří Grygar about why this particular region was chosen and what has put the Czech Republic at the head of this trend on the European and world scale.  More

Czech scientists searching for ways to remove toxins from drinking water

09-09-2014 15:08 | Daniela Lazarová

Illustrative photo: CTK Detergents, painkillers and contraceptives are things we use daily. What most of us don’t realize is that all of them contribute to the presence of toxins in our rivers and even drinking water. A special research team at Brno’s Masaryk University is now working to ascertain what toxins pass through water treatment plants and how they could be more effectively eliminated. I spoke to the head of the team prof. Luděk Bláha about the problems involved.  More

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

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