Topic Archive Nature

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

Prague Zoo taking responsibility for the survival of endangered breeds

17-04-2014 16:18 | Daniela Lazarová

Photo: Kristýna Maková Three years ago Prague Zoo launched its biggest conservation project to date – helping to save the Przewalski horse from extinction. The zoo successfully breeds these Mongolian wild horses here in the Czech Republic and then transports them 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 Ptáčinská Jirátová to find out how the project has been coming along.  More

Czech researchers studying global climate change on James Ross Island

10-04-2014 15:48 | Daniela Lazarová

Johann Gregor Mendel station, photo: Kamil Láska / Masaryk University Czech scientists from Brno’s Masaryk University have been involved in polar research since the 1980s and since 2006 they have their own polar station in Antarctica –the Johann Gregor Mendel station. For the duration of the polar summer a team of scientists from Masaryk University works at the station doing glacier research and collecting data relating to the impact of global warming on micro-organisms. The sixteen-member- team is just back from its 2014 expedition and this week I talked to the head of the team Pavel Kapler about its work.  More

Photo confirms return of wolves to Bohemia after over century

08-04-2014 15:11 | Ian Willoughby

Photo: CTK Last week a camera trap captured an image of a wolf crossing a clearing in a wooded area near Doksy in North Bohemia. Wolves disappeared from Bohemia in the late 19th century and the new photo confirms speculation about the animal’s return to this part of the world.  More

Czech botanists discover new “bearded” vanilla species in southern Vietnam

05-02-2014 16:05 | Daniela Lazarová

Vanilla attropogon – loosely translated as “vanilla with a dark beard” is not something you are likely to put in your pudding. Out of the vast number of vanilla orchid species only three are commercially cultivated for consumption, the most common of which is the Mexican vanilla, now cultivated in Madagaskar. Other breeds are used in the perfume industry but most of the species are simply flowers growing in the tropics. Now Czech botanists have uncovered a brand new species in a largely unexplored nature reserve in southern Vietnam.  More

Iron Curtain continues in minds of Czech deer

28-01-2014 14:04 | Chris Johnstone

Photo: CTK Almost a quarter of a century after the fall of the Iron Curtain, some patterns of behaviour have continued as if the event never took place. A study of deer in the Šumava National Park shows that populations on both the Czech and German sides of the former barrier behave as if it is still there.  More

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