Refugium | News

We Launched the Tradition of Regular Biologist Meetings in Slavonice

“Faces of the Landscape: Caring for Vulnerable Natural Habitats on the Borderlands of Vysočina, Moravia, and South Bohemia” is the title of the first series of planned events that provide space for scientists, conservationists, and individual enthusiasts from the public and private sectors to get to know and inspire one another.

The meeting was in the form of a colloquium, i.e. a free, single-disciple debate between like-minded people, and took place at the end of March and beginning of April this year. The number of participants was limited to about 30 to facilitate conversation.

We started with a common breakfast and then moved on to the main program, a series of around a dozen short lectures followed by discussions.

The Speakers and the Topics

Ornithologists, entomologists, leading scientists, experts in ecology, monitoring, and mammal conservation, experts in the revitalization of valuable habitats, enthusiastic nature documentarians, and people drawn to nature conservation from other disciplines but with a sincere interest.

Some contributions were a glimpse into the life of a particular species, some were more like a lecture, a demonstration of past and future research, and others were a tour of exceptional sites at home and abroad.

  • Klára Bezděčková – The black bog ant (Formica picea Nylander) and its habitats in the southwestern part of the Bohemian-Moravian highlands
  • Petr Bogusch – How the research of reed galls helps us understand the life of solitary bees
  • Martina Havlíčková – Changes in Maříž Park
  • Petr Hesoun – How many opportunities does a rose have? The valuable Kunžacka and Novobystřicko natural sites
  • Filip Hruška – The boreal owl and Eurasian pygmy owl in the peak Javořice highlands: nesting biology, distribution, and changes in habitat
  • Filip Lysák – Archaic farming practices: anachronism or opportunity?
  • Lukáš and Kateřina Poledníkovi – The Eurasian otter in the Slavonice tri-state area. Its life and population ecology
  • Aleš Toman – The daily life of the white-tailed eagle in the Czech Republic through the lens of documentary photographs
  • Dušan Trávníček – A boy and a pond. The fauna of water beetles in the wetlands in the south of the Czech-Moravian borderlands today and in retrospect

Friday’s discussions were followed by Saturday’s “practical” part—guided tours in the countryside led by Petr Hesoun, entomologist and chairman of the Hamerský Pond association, which focuses on landscape and nature conservation and environmental educational programs for children and adults.

Pavel Pokorný, a landscape scientist from the River Landscape Association and the main initiator of the meeting, guided the participants through the entire program of the colloquium together with Eliška Kolomazníková, a journalist from Czech Television. Breakfast and the main program were held in Spolkový dům Slavonice, managed by Olga Žampová; accommodation and the evening program, which included the opening of the exhibit of Vojtěch Zikmund’s photographs, was in Hotel Pivoňka. Prokop Svoboda, on behalf of Refugium, sponsored the event.

The next session, which will be held in the same place and will have a similar format, will be called “Faces of Water” and is planned for next spring.