New reserve for wild horses established as part of the European Green Belt opens today

2023 - 11 - 24

A new wild horse reserve established near the municipality of Krásná near the town of Aš as part of the European Green Belt opens today. The site is located in the Bohemian spur surrounded by German territory.

Three wild mares were transported there this afternoon from European Serengeti, a popular large herbivore reserve not far from Prague.

“The newly established site is the westernmost reserve in the Czech Republic and the first in the Karlovy Vary Region. At the same time, it is the third reserve set up thanks to local governments,” mentioned Dalibor Dostal from the conservation organisation European Wildlife, which provided the wild horses free of charge for the new reserve. “The grazing of large herbivores is the cheapest way for towns and cities, villages, regions and private land owners to take care of naturally valuable land. We are delighted that another municipality has embarked on this course,” added Dostal.

Before being loaded into the trailer, the horses grazed on the grassland at European Serengeti. However, they arrived at an entirely different setting. “Snow has fallen at the site,” noted Krásná Mayor Luboš Pokorný.

“Our goal is to breathe new life into the degraded grassy and wetland areas in the territory of the former village of Štítary near Krásná. By introducing extensive grazing of Exmoor horses, we will improve biotopes important for the presence of some critically endangered species, including the marsh fritillary and freshwater pearl mussel. By involving the public, we are raising the awareness of both locals and tourists of the significance or natural and cultural heritage,” added conservationist Erika Smrtova, who initiated the project.

The site on the Czech-German border is the thirteenth reserve for large ungulates to which the conservation organisation European Wildlife has contributed. Two more reserves are now awaiting the arrival of animals from European Serengeti. These are scheduled for the next few weeks. The project entitled “Štítary, a Local Biodiversity Centre” is being implemented from EU funds as part of the Green Belt – BEST Belt initiative. The municipality of Krásná is the recipient of the aid and promoter of the project.

The horses transferred to Štítary near Aš were not the only ones that set off from Milovice today. “We transported three small wild stallions born this year to the reserve near Krnov. They will join a pair of aurochs that have been grazing in the reserve near Krnov since the end of last year,” Dostal added.

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