During November, we mowed and then raked and cleared stubbles and depicting the outcrops of expansive woody plants and blackberries at the hillside below Dívčí hrady. At the same time on the upper part of the slope goats were grazed until the first snow in the second half of November. The last strip cutting at Dívčí Hrady took place at the beginning of November, and at the end of the month it was cleared. The part of the nectar-bearing areas was mown according to current state of vegetation.
Category: Conservation management
Everyone needs a suitable environment for their lives. Butterflies and many other arthropods thrive best in a divers landscape that is neither too overgrown with bushes and trees nor too bare. They need plenty of host plants that caterpillars consume and plenty of nectar-rich plants for adults. We try to create such a landscape for them by sowing herbs, pruning or felling trees, mowing, pulling turf and other activities. Sometimes it may seem that we are destroying nature, but our interventions really help to target species rather to harm them.
School children helped us with final autumn cleaning above Asuan
After the sheep and goat grazing, there were small stubbles and stunted shoots left on the hillside above Asuan reservoir. Therefore, it was necessary to pull out the brush cutter before winter. We mowed a larger area of the hillside, which then had to be raked and cleaned. Pupils from the nearby FZŠ prof. Otokara Chlupa helped us a lot. In several groups, they dug up cut branches and twigs. All the biomass was then carried or dragged into large piles. After work, they deservedly enjoyed a fire with sausages.
Visit and Consultation with Austrian Partners (Innsbruck)
During the first half of October, we payed a visit to our foreign partner RNDr. DI Karl Černý (Gerichtlich beeideter Sachverständiger für Ökologie und Insektenkunde) in Austria. The aim of the meeting was the joint implementation of active management at sites around Innsbruck, which host an endangered fauna of diurnal butterflies, with a number of unique species from other taxonomic groups as well. As part of the management measures, we hepled to eliminate expansive woody plants and bramble stands, which are also a significant problem on some of our areas in Prague. Through an active approach and especially the subsequent consultation, we gained very valuable knowledge about how to effectively solve these problems with overgrowing of xerothermic habitats in the long term. We look forward to further active cooperation!
Autumn harvest at Na Rovinách site
Autumn hay cutting at Dívčí Hrady
At the beginning of September, we carried out another mowing of meadows at Dívčí Hrady in cooperation with Mr. Zeman. The goal was to mow previously uncut strips of old vegetation. We also focused on those areas where perennial weeds thrive most, especially thistles. This year we succeeded well in creating a mosaic of vegetation so that some part of it always blooms. This is important for a continuous supply of nectar for butterflies and other pollinators.
Field trip for ECCB participants
An excursion to Dívčí Hrady was organized as part of the international conference ECCB held at the Czech university of Life Scieneces in Prague. Almost thirty scientists and conservationists from Europe and other countries had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with interesting biotopes and individual management measures that are taking place within our project.
Goats graze also under Dívčí Hrady
At the beginning of August, in cooperation with the Jinofarm association, we started grazing a herd of goats on the carved hillside below Dívčí Hrady. Here, the goats help us especially with the suppression of blackberry stands and saplings of expanzive woody plants. Grazing here will continue until the end of October, when the goat herd will be moved to a permanent enclosure in Jinonice for the winter.
Mosaic cutting above Asuan and maintenance of nectar-bearing plots
At the turn of July and August, a mosaic cutting of vegetation using brush cutters took place on the slopes above the Asuan Reservoir. The chopped biomass was raked and cleared away. A “volunteer hay event” for the public was organised. Unfortunately, only one volunteer, Matěj, came due to the extremely hot weather and a last-minute change of date. Despite that, Matěj was not afraid of work and helped us a lot! We also mowed the previously sowed nectar-bearing plots to support slower-growing and less competitive target plants.
Grazing above Asuán
From the second half of June, in cooperation with the Ábel association, we started grazing employing a mixed herd of sheep and goats. The animals will help us especially with suppressing the saplings and resprouting of expansing trees that we cut during the winter. Grazing will take place here with gradual moving of the herd until the end of August. Limited grazing of several animals will continue also in September.
The first mowing at Dívčí hrady in 2022
At the end of May, the first mowing of dry grasslands around sainfoin (Onobrychis) took place at Dívčí hrady site. About half of each area of the sainfoin patch was always cut. Early mowing will ensure the continuity of flowering throughout the summer – so flowering plants will still be available.