Over 10,000 people took part in the first ever bird census in the Czech
Republic at the weekend. The participants sent information about the birds
they had observed in their gardens and elsewhere to the website of the
Czech Ornithological Society. Volunteers registered almost a quarter of a
million birds of dozens of species.
According to preliminary results, the most reported bird was the great tit, which finished far ahead of the tree sparrow and house sparrow.
The first ever public bird census got underway in the Czech Republic on Friday. Over the course of the next three days, people can observe bird flocking on the feeders in their gardens or parks, identify the species and send the findings to the Czech Ornithological Society’s website. The purpose of the event is to discover more about the development of the country’s common birds.
The common blackbird has disappeared from about 50 percent of Czech
gardens, following the outbreak of a dangerous mosquito-carried African
bird disease in the summer of last year, the Czech Union for Nature
Conservation said on Thursday.
The blackbird, which used to be the country’s most common garden species, has become nearly extinct in Prague and Central Bohemia after being hit by the Usutu virus. The disease, which can also be transmitted to other bird species, was first detected in the country in 2011.
Shorebirds are birds commonly found along sandy or rocky shorelines, mudflats, and shallow waters all around the globe. But a study co-authored by Czech scientist Vojtěch Kubelka shows that these birds are increasingly threatened with extinction. The research, recently published in the prestigious US magazine Science, reveals a link between nest predation and climate change on a global scale, but especially in the Arctic.
Following consultations with the European Commission, the State Veterinary
Authority has reversed its order for imported pork products to undergo
tests for African swine fever.
The special measures concerned imports from countries where African swine fever has been confirmed and were to have come into effect this week.
The European Commission protested against the decision on the grounds that it would destabilize the trade in pork.
It moreover pointed out that in all of the states concerned, African swine fever had only been detected in wild boar, not in commercial pig farms.
Czech importers of pork and pork products from states where African swine
fever has been confirmed will be held responsible for getting such imports
tested for the virus, the Czech State Veterinary Authority said on
Importers will have a duty to test all pork imports from Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Poland and Romania. Belgium and Poland are the third and fourth biggest importers of pork to the Czech Republic.
Failure to comply with the regulation will be punishable by a fine of up to two million crowns.
The Czech Ornithological Society is urging citizens to take an active part
in international Collision Count Week starting September 24.
During the course of that week people will be able to report glass panes which present a threat to birds and thus help lower bird mortality on the continent and beyond. Reportedly tens of thousands of birds die every year after flying into glass panes.
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.
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.
The area of the Zlín region covered by special measures to counter African
swine fever has been reduced sharply.
The area covered from February 1 by special measures now covers just 40 percent of the Zlín district. The reduction was agreed by the European Commission following a Czech request.
Special measures had applied to the whole of the Zlín district from the middle of last year. Czech authorities are trying to stop the spread of the fever, which is fatal for pigs, from the population of wild boar to the livestock being raised on farms.