Today, wild horses inhabited two new nature reserves in Central Europe

2020 - 11 - 14

The two new wild horse reserves have been established today in Central Europe. Both localities are located in naturally waterlogged biodiverse landscapes in different parts of the Czech Republic. Both areas are important in terms of both water retention and their biodiversity alike.

The first locality comprises wetland adjacent to a pond called Baroch. The second is located in the floodplain of Luznice River in a National Nature Reserve called „Old and New river“. The latter locality is of special importance as horses there are supposed to help maintain exceptionally preserved floodplain neadow-woodland mosaic ecosystem inhabited by beaver, Eurasian moose and numerous other protected species.

In the areas surrounding the Baroch Pond, wild horses will mostly graze on extensive reed and cattail vegetation. They will thus help create a more colourful mosaic for several species of water birds. A total of eight wild horses were transferred to the locality in two transports from the former Milovice military zone. “The animals handled the journey well and immediately began exploring their new environment. They started grazing on the reeds, which they had no experience with from the Savannah-like landscape of the former military zone,” said Dalibor Dostal, Director of European Wildlife conservation organizations.

The areas surrounding the Baroch Pond are breeding grounds, for instance, for wild geese, and the area also has a presence of the wild duck (mallard), common teal, little grebe, Eurasian bittern and other species. Rare plants in this area include, for instance, the Marsh, Adders-tongue fern or Early marsh-orchi. Baroch is a so-called “celestial pond”, with no river flowing into it and fully relying on rainwater.

A second nature reserve has been created in the floodplains of the Luznice River. The meanders of the Luznice with a network of parapotamons in these areas create suitable conditions for the natural plant community of the wetlands and grasslands. The first group of three horses has been transported to the location today, and will be joined by three more horses tomorrow. The private reserve will be the new home of six wild horses in total. “We would like to thank all the conservation organizations that prepared the new reserves for the wild horses. We are pleased that this type of care for the landscape continues to gain ground in Central Europe,” concluded Dalibor Dostal.

The reserve of large ungulates in the former military zone of Milovice from where the horses were transferred to both reserves was created in 2015 thanks to European environmental grants. It is the first place in the world where wild horses, European bison and back-bred aurochs live together. Thanks to its herds of large ungulates, it has earned the nickname European Serengeti.

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