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Article: Important Bird Areas in the Czech Republic

Welcome to a virtual tour of the Important Bird Areas in the Czech Republic.

Important Bird Areas (IBAs), are sites that hold significant populations of threatened bird species. The IBA programme started in 1990 and it is run by BirdLife International. The programme is aimed at the identification and protection of a network of sites that are important for bird conservation, such as breeding and wintering sites and migration stopovers. The selection of such localities is based on criteria that ensures the survival of populations of wild birds (for which site-based conservation is possible and appropriate) should remaining habitats elsewhere be lost or damaged. The goal of the program is to monitor and research the localities and ensure their adequate management and conservation measures according to national and international agreements and legislation. Other tasks include the education and promotion of the sites.

The Czech society for Ornithology (CSO) runs a caretaker (patron) network, a system of groups of volunteers covering all Czech Important Bird Areas. About a hundred individuals take part in the activities and the caretaker groups vary in size and the scale of work, depending on the number of people involved, their time constraints, and to a large degree by the character of the area. In a military training area, such as the one in the Doupov hills, educational and promotional activities are limited and even research can be hindered. In most Protected Landscape Areas and National Parks, on the other hand, a lot of work is being done by the administrators of these areas in cooperation with the caretaker groups. Research and monitoring are the most common activities of caretaker groups and the educational and promotional activities are on the increase. Selected caretaker groups are involved in a project called Under One Sky in which young volunteers help to organize guided field trips for the public to the most interesting parts of some IBAs. Such field trips are currently offered at five IBAs.

An IBA newsletter is published twice a year, IBA seminars and workshops are organized every other year. Promotional leaflets are published in an increasing quantity and also a travelling exhibition helps to promote the idea of protecting sites important for birds.

To date 39 sites have been identified in the Czech Republic based on three levels of criteria: IBAs of global (A), European (B), and European Union level (C) importance.

The sites identified at the European Union level criteria were included in the Special Protection Areas (SPAs) proposal elaborated by CSO in cooperation with the Agency for Nature Protection and Landscape Conservation of the Czech Republic. The SPAs are in the process of being designated by the government of the Czech Republic in order to comply with the requirements of the Birds Directive. There are 41 SPAs included in the proposal. The Sumava mountains and Boletice SPAs form the larger Sumava mountains IBA, also the Beskydy mountains IBAs covers both the Sumava mountains and the Horni Vsacko SPAs, bringing the number of IBAs to 39.

To visit the areas and learn more about them, please click below...


01.05.2003
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