A new herd of wild horses from the large herbivor reserve European Serengeti were released by conservationists to Bird Meadows

2024 - 03 - 30

A group of seven young stallions, born last year on the European Serengeti close to the city of Milovice, near Prague, were released several days ago into the wetland reserve known as the Josefov Meadows Bird Reserve, established by the Czech branch of Birdlife International near the city of Jaromer. 

“We have expanded pastures significantly at Josefovské louky (“Josefov Meadows”), and that’s why we needed a new group of horses as their grazing is crucial for tending of the site. Horses create a varied mosaic of vegetation grazed down low above the ground, creating an ideal environment for waders,” explained Brenek Michalek, manager of the bird park. “Horses also graze on shallow riparian waters, prevent pools from becoming overgrown, and their dung is a source of food not only for waders but also for wagtails and other bird species,” the bird park manager enumerated the benefits of wild horses grazing at the site.

The first herd of wild horses arrived at Josefovské ptačí louky (“Josefov Bird Meadows”) from the large herbivore reserve in Milovice in January 2018. More animals have been added repeatedly to the group ever since.

“Today’s capture of animals was rather complicated as we captured and loaded wild horses for two locations at once. In addition to stallions for Josefovské louky, two mares left for the reserve in the meanders of the Lužnice River,” added Dalibor Dostal, director of the conservation organisation European Wildlife, which founded the “European Serengeti” reserve in Milovice in cooperation with scientists in 2015.

The reserve on the banks of the Lužnice River was established in November 2020. Just as for the Josefov Bird Meadows, herds of large ungulates have been provided there free of charge by European Wildlife, too. The number of these reserves has risen to 15 in total since 2015, when the first large ungulate reserve in Central Europe came into existence in Milovice.

The transport of the large ungulates today was not the last one. “In the weeks to come, transports of European bison to the reserve at Lipno will continue, and there is also a planned transport of wild horses to the Gratzen Mountains, where there’s been a group of aurochs since the turn of the year,” Dalibor Dostal concluded.


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