The giant hogweed and muskrat have been included on a new European Commission list of invasive plants and animals, according to the Czech Ministry of Environment. The move means that steps should be taken to control their spread. At the moment the Czech Republic has no legislative rules in place for such steps to be taken. Giant Hogweed is a major problem in western Bohemia. Hunters though have responded angrily to the inclusion of musk rat on the list, arguing that the Czech Republic has a long standing population on the outskirts of Prague and that they are still not very common in the wild.
A row over the management of the Czech Republic’s biggest national park and forest has blown up. Political leaders in the regions which the park straddles have accused local managers and the environment ministry of failing to curb the tree damaging bark beetle. And they have warned they are prepared to take drastic measures unless there is a departure from methods allowing the beetle to thrive in areas where forests are allowed to develop naturally.
The Czech Republic has been picked out as one of the worst hit countries for invasive plants and animals by a European study. Although the invaders can damage crops and severely impact biodiversity not much has been done so far to counter them. Environmental groups hope the new research could get things moving.
Bavaria and Austria, which both border on the Czech Republic, have urged the Czech Environment Ministry to fight against the spread of bark-beetle in the country’s borderland areas. They say that the situation is growing untenable and remind the Czech authorities of bilateral agreements that bind the Czech Republic to prevent bark-beetle infestation along the common border.
Fox hunting in the Czech Republic may not come with all of the red coats and horses that you might expect to see elsewhere – often it’s more a case of one man and his dog in the woods. But here, just like in other countries, it is a controversial issue nonetheless. On Tuesday, the Czech parliament approved a law which allows hunters to train their dogs through direct contact with foxes. Previously, foxes and dogs had to be kept apart by a cage during training, so that neither suffered injury. Animal rights groups are dismayed by the move.
So-called "invasive" species include plants and animals that have been brought from other parts of the world and harm native species, sometimes to the point of extinction. In today's Czech Science we look at two such aliens in the Czech Republic, the giant hogweed and the American mink, and at what exactly science can do to help tackle the problem.
While most Czechs know the devastating power of locusts only from biblical plagues, a group of pilots from East Bohemia have had first hand experience with the crop-devouring insects. In the spring of this year they had a chance to use their aerial spraying expertise in Algeria. Now the crews are ready for take-off again as the voracious insects once more hit parts of North and West Africa.