The outbreak of a dangerous African bird disease is killing blackbirds and other bird species in the Czech Republic. The mosquito-carried Usutu virus has spread to Europe from tropical and subtropical Africa and has been raising the bird toll across the continent. I spoke to Petr Voříšek of the Czech Society for Ornithology and I first asked him to tell me more about the disease.
Boat traffic on the Baťa Canal in Moravia has been curtailed after a
marked fall in the level of the waterway. This follows an intense drought
and a falling of the water level in the adjacent Morava River. Only boats
whose submersion does not exceed 60 centimetres are now allowed on the
Baťa Canal, operators said in a statement on Thursday.
It is the first time such restrictions have been imposed on the waterway, which was opened in 1938. They are set to remain in place until September 2.
The Czech Republic is one of the weakest states in the European Union when
it comes to combatting climate change, according to Climate Action Network
Europe. The Brussels-based organisation placed the Czech Republic 20th in
the bloc on the basis of criteria including efforts to reach targets for
the year 2020 set by the EU and enacted into legislation nine years ago.
The Czech Republic was directly behind Slovakia in the table created by Climate Action Network Europe. Sweden was judged the most successful EU country in tackling climate change while Poland was seen as having most to do.
For about one third of the world’s population, bugs are a common part of their diet, but most Europeans still find the thought of eating insects revolting. A couple of Czech businessmen, Radek Hušek and Daniel Vach, of SENS Foods, are trying to change that by producing protein and energy bars containing crickets from their farm in Thailand.
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.
Imported fir trees from Poland are taking an increasing share of the
Christmas tree market in the Czech Republic, forcing prices down, iDnes.cz
A representative of the Association of Christmas Tree Cultivators told the news website that large growers from Denmark had established new plantations in Poland some years back and the trees were now ready for sale.
Firs have long been the most popular Christmas trees in the Czech Republic, winning out over spruce and pine trees. However, if Czechs are keen to buy local the latter should be easier to find, iDnes.said.