Many songbirds in Southeast Asia are now on the list of threatened bird species, having been decimated largely due to incessant capture for trade. Liberec Zoo in the north of the Czech Republic is coordinating an EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) conservation campaign involving some 200 European zoos which are striving to save these species from extinction. I spoke to the zoo’s spokeswoman Barbara Tesařová and began by asking her to explain why so many songbirds in Southeast Asia are threatened.
Has the brown bear really returned to the Krkonoše? Following a recent sighting in the mountain range’s national park, scientists are now searching for evidence that would confirm the presence of the large carnivorous species, which last freely roamed the area on the Czech-Polish border more than 200 years ago.
Czech hydrogeologist Jiří Šíma is a leading expert in the field of water management. Since the mid-1980s, he has been involved in various water management and environmental projects in Africa, mainly in Ethiopia. He created a series of hydrogeological maps documenting the country’s water resources and has been cooperating on various projects with the Czech Development Agency and the NGO People in Need.
The Czech Republic’s largely coniferous forests are facing the worst calamity in years. Experts are warning that if required measures are not taken soon enough, the forests might soon find themselves wiped out. Despite the alarming situation, the agriculture ministry is looking to keep the current monoculture forestry format more or less unchanged.
Young Czech scientist Hana Svobodová has devoted her entire career to protecting and saving endangered sea turtles. Since 2010, she has been regularly visiting Indonesia to work as a volunteer in turtle conservation centres and later established her own NGO focusing on their protection. Her NGO recently won an important victory, when they succeeded in hunting down a group of sea turtle egg poachers.
Environmental groups and experts in the field have been ringing alarm bells regarding the sorry state of Czech forests. The country’s largely coniferous forests are falling prey to climate change, bark beetle infestation and devastating wind-storms. Experts claim that measures are long overdue to help forests adapt to climate change. I spoke to Jan Skalík, from Friends of the Earth Czech Republic, about the gravity of the problem and what needs to be done.
The Žofín forest in South Bohemia belongs among the oldest protected nature reserves in Central Europe. This unique woodland, which has been protected for more than 180 years, has now become a focus of research carried out by the US space agency NASA. They want to use the data collected in the forest to compare it with measurements taken from space. That could enable them to get a more accurate picture of the Earth’s surface.
For nearly 20 years, Czechs have been involved in saving the critically endangered Western Derby eland, the world’s largest antelope living in Africa. The last wild population of this critically endangered species can today be found only in the West African country of Senegal and their fate depends solely on Czech-Senegalese cooperation.