Právo: One third of mammals in ČR threatened with extinction

CZECH NEWS AGENCY via PRAGUE DAILY MONITOR

Prague, May 21 (CTK) – One third of mammal species, more than a half of nesting birds and 60 percent of plants are threatened with extinction in the Czech Republic, daily Pravo writes Wednesday.

It says the “red lists” include even species that used to be common in the country, such as the freshwater otter, the lynx and the bear.

The ground squirrel is a similar case. Still in the early 1950s, it was a scourge of farmers, now it survives in the last 234 localities,” Pravo quotes Michael Hosek, from the Nature and Landscape Protection Agency (AOPK), as saying.

Another such species is the freshwater mussel that “survives only at several places on the upper reaches of rivers in south Bohemia,” Hosek said.

Protection programmes are underway to save certain critically threatened species that also include the spring gentian, for instance, Pravo writes.

It writes that even careful protection may not save the particular species because the bases of their natural behaviour are violated.

The ground squirrels, for instance, are used to migrating which leads to the mixing of genes. But their localities in the Czech Republic are tens of kilometres far way from one another and so the particular populations do not have a chance to meet.

This results in worsening the ground squirrel’s gene pool, Pravo writes.

It says the Czech Environment Statistical Yearbook 2007 registered more than 2550 species of original higher plants, 2400 species of lower plants, 50,000 species of invertebrates and 395 species of vertebrates.

Pravo writes that besides man’s activities, the spread of aggressive species that do not originate in the country is also responsible for the situation.

The paper says the book about non-original fauna and flora species in the country, issued last year, lists almost 500 items.

Huntsmen, for instance, have complained in the past years about raccoon dogs coming from east Asia that kill forest animals.

Water managers, for their part, are bothered by the alias mink that literally plunders creaks of feed, Pravo writes.

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Filed under animals, biodiversity, endangered, environment, environmentalism, extinction, nature, wildlife, zoology

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