Wild stallion departed today from the unique bird reserve to Nature Park Solling-Vogler, Germany

2021 - 05 - 12

For years, stallion Northcroft Firestarter has been the harem male in the big ungulates reserve Milovice, near Prague. Since 2019, he has been raising colts in small bachelor group in the unique bird reserve in Kozmice, in the northeast of the Czech Republic. Today morning, he departed to the Nature park Solling-Vogler, Germany.

It will be performing the role of a harem stallion in a reserve in the south of Lower Saxony, which use large ungulates for tending to the landscape. “After the Second World War, wild horses from Exmoor, England, were on the brink of extermination, as there were only fifty of them left. Although their population has increased to about two thousand since then, it is still necessary to take care to expand the genetic diversity in individual herds throughout Europe. That was why we arranged with our colleagues from the German natural park to lend them our stallion,” explained Dalibor Dostal, director of the conservation organization European Wildlife.

“In addition to having a great exterior, Northcroft Firestarter is a capable stud, too. He is an attentive father of foals as well,” noted ethologist Katerina Sandlova. It was based on long-term observations that scientists published a breakthrough study some time ago describing the key role of a stallion in the herd. Based on their findings, a stallion is engaged not only in fathering offspring and in defending the herd but also in playing with foals and in raising them.

The transport of the stallion to Germany was originally scheduled for next week. However, owing to the heavy and constant rain that hit the Czech Republic today and will continue for a few days, it was necessary to speed up the transport considerably. The problem is that following the rain, the waterlogged meadows near Kozmice would be inaccessible to the transport vehicle. “I would like to thank all those who were involved in speeding up the transport,” Dalibor Dostal added.

Solling-Vogler Natural Park has an area of 52,000 hectares. It was founded in 1966. As in the central Bohemian town of Milovice, wild horses originating from Exmoor, England, and other large ungulates are used to take care of the unique meadow covers there.

This marks further cooperation between reserves that fall under the conservation organization European Wildlife with Germany. Two mares departed from the European Serengeti reserve in Milovice near Prague to the German zoo park in Sababurg last year.

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