A herd of wild horses began grazing another reserve yesterday

2018 - 10 - 01
A herd of wild horses began grazing another reserve yesterday

Yesterday, one more reserve experiencing the return of wild horses was added to the map of Central Europe. In the west of the Czech Republic, not far from the town of Dobrany, a group of six young male horses has been grazing since yesterday afternoon. They arrived from the former military training area of Milovice near Prague.

“We are very happy that wild horses born in our reserve will help manage another natural place of value. The aim of our pilot project was not only to protect one unique site, but also to form breeding herds producing offspring that will help care for other vulnerable sites where the conservation activities of other organizations and institutions are underway,” said Dalibor Dostal, director of European Wildlife, the conservation organization that provided the rare animals to the new pasture reserve free of charge.

The former military training area was used by the army since the end of the 18th century, and soldiers left after 1989. The previous military activity turned the site into a territory featuring a diversity of patches supporting a wide variety of habitats. There are short-grass meadows, vegetation of shrubs, pools, rocks and small woods along with features such as an abandoned quarry and remnants of an old orchard. This has left a setting appropriate for many rare and endangered species of plants and animals to grow or range.

A survey identified more than 230 plant species, the most noteworthy include grass vetchling and proliferous pink. Rare insect species include the adonis blue butterfly. One of the rarest species of frogs in the local natural world breeds in puddles – the yellow-bellied toad. Rare crustaceans reminiscent of trilobites have also found a home – the endangered tadpole shrimp and one more member of the same group, smaller the fairy shrimp. Bird species such as the Eurasian wryneck and the woodlark thrive locally in the open woodlands or at the edges of such sites.

Institutions and organizations in other regions have been attracted by this progressive conservationist method facilitated by grazing large hoofed mammals. However, there are many more suitable places for this method. “Overall, we have identified 145 sites potentially appropriate for grazing large ungulates as part of the methodology prepared for the Czech Ministry of the Environment,” added Miloslav Jirku from the Biological Centre of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

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