Research and conservation

Protecting threatened birds:

Corncrake

Corncrake Crex crex

In East and South Bohemia A Rocha Czech is studying, monitoring and working to protect three species which have seriously declined in recent years:

The Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis – Pavel Světlík, director of A Rocha Czech, has been ringing Kingfishers for nearly forty years and has noticed a marked decline in their numbers. In autumn 2002 A Rocha Czech ran a monitoring programme, with volunteers, which recorded severe flood damage to many formerly suitable nest banks and reduced numbers of birds. A Rocha Czech is now experimenting with artificial nest sites.

The White-throated Dipper Cinclus cinclus – Dippers in the Czech Republic have also been adversely affected by floods and acidic pollution of the rivers. Young people in A Rocha Czech’s nature clubs are monitoring local populations and making artificial nestboxes.

The Little Owl Athene noctua – A Rocha Czech is also monitoring Little Owls and providing nestboxes.

Protecting threatened habitats:

Orlické Záhoří is a 904 hectare marshland and grassland site in Eastern Bohemia. The area holds important populations of Corncrake and Red-backed Shrike, both of which are priority species under the EU Birds Directive. Past damage from a drainage scheme and future pressures from overgrazing and tourism threaten the area. A Rocha Czech is working in partnership with the Czech Ornithological Society to carry out long-term monitoring of the birds, and working to ensure that restoration measures produce the desired effects.

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