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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
During April, we set up nectar-breeding plots at Dívčí Hrady and around Asuan. Among other plants, species serving as food plants for caterpillars of some target butterfly species (eg crepuscular burnet or silver-studded blue) will also be sown. Furthermore, turf was disturbed in places potentially suitable for the reproduction of rock grayling, whose eggs and caterpillars require warmed and loose fescue lawns. We wold not be able to handle with the heavily connected turf without the help of heavy equipment.