The wildcat is a small carnivorous species that once inhabited the Czech Republic’s forests, before it was hunted down at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries. However, images of the wildcat recently captured by camera traps in some parts of the Czech Republic suggest that the rare feline may once again be settling in the country.
The Vraní hory mountain region in north-east Bohemia is the second place in the Czech Republic to which wolves have returned and started reproducing in the wild after a break of 200 years. A wolf with a cub was recently caught on camera. They are believed to have come from the vicinity of the Czech-Polish border region where a pack of wolves first settled and has been breeding since 2015.
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.
A Czech military plane has transported four Przewalski mares to Mongolia
for reintroduction into the wild, part of Prague Zoo’s long-standing
programme to save the endangered species. The horses arrived in Mongolia on
Przewalski horse is a rare subspecies native to Mongolia, which became extinct in the wild in the 1960s. Prague Zoo has played a major role in saving the horse, breeding it and gradually returning it to its natural environment.
To date, the zoo has sent 31 horses to a nature reserve in the Mongolian steppe, where they have started breeding successfully.
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.
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.
The last surviving male Northern White Rhino died in the Ol Pejeta Conservatory in Kenya on Monday. He and two other females who represent the last of their breed belong to Dvůr Kralové Zoo which is spearheading international efforts to save the breed from extinction. I spoke over the phone to the zoo’s special projects coordinator Jan Stejskal who flew to Kenya when Sudan’s condition deteriorated and asked him what happened.
When Josef Vágner, head of the Dvůr Kralové Zoo, brought six Northern White Rhinos back from a trip to Sudan in the early 1970s he was criticized by the public for taking them from the wild. Now the zoo that he set up and the herd that was successfully bred there over the years may help to save the species that has been wiped off the face of the Earth by poachers. There are now three Northern White Rhinos left on the planet and all three belong to Dvůr Kralové Zoo and reside in a heavily guarded nature reserve in Kenya. Last week came the news that
The Little Owl (Athene noctua, sýček obecný in Czech) has been chosen as Bird of the Year by the Czech Society for Ornithology. Though common in Europe, Northern Africa, parts of the Middle East and Asia, population numbers of the owl fallen significantly over the last half century in the Czech Republic, disappearing from farmland areas; as a result the Little Owl is on the endangered list.