The Czech Republic’s largely coniferous forests are facing the worst calamity in years. Experts are warning that if required measures are not taken soon enough, the forests might soon find themselves wiped out. Despite the alarming situation, the agriculture ministry is looking to keep the current monoculture forestry format more or less unchanged.
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.
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.
The Žofín forest in South Bohemia belongs among the oldest protected nature reserves in Central Europe. This unique woodland, which has been protected for more than 180 years, has now become a focus of research carried out by the US space agency NASA. They want to use the data collected in the forest to compare it with measurements taken from space. That could enable them to get a more accurate picture of the Earth’s surface.
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 Czech Union for Nature Conservation’s local chapter in Vlašim, Central Bohemia, this week released four species of bats that had wintered at its shelter over the last four months. The release of the animals nursed back to health or saved by the civic association has become a tradition at the park at the Chateau Vlašim.
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.