first_imgExtension of Tatranska Lomnica ski resort in the High Tatra Mountains. Photo Credit: Juraj Svajda. Biodiversity, Birds, Conservation, Environment, Forests, Habitat, Habitat Loss, Hunting, Infrastructure, Interns, Logging, Mammals, National Parks, Protected Areas, Research, Wildlife Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Dual management — forestry and nature conservation interests — at play in the Velicka Valley of Tatra National Park following the windstorms of 2004. Photo Credit: Juraj Svajda. The Tatra chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica) is a subspecies of the chamois. Found only in the Tatra Mountains, it is a flagship species of both Tatra National Parks (in Slovakia and Poland). Photo Credit: Juraj Svajda. Logging in the Tatras. Photo Credit: Karol Kalisky.center_img Male capercaillie in the Tatras. Photo Credit: Karol Kalisky. 12345

In their recent study, Mikoláš and his colleagues found that from 1985 to 2010, suitable habitat for capercaillie decreased from roughly 7,500 to 1,100 square kilometers across the Carpathian Mountain range, including Tatra National Park in Slovakia.“Incredible clear-cuts with areas of hundreds of hectares fragmented the [capercaillie] populations. Many became isolated and extinction depth is in progress. The most alarming aspect is that all these are still going on and accelerating,” Mikoláš observed.With loss of habitat comes a decline in habitat connectivity, and populations in the Tatras are being cut off and isolated at an alarming rate. The study concluded the genetic flow between the populations of Eastern and Western capercaillie is now virtually nonexistent, which could ultimately lead to more vulnerable populations and a decreased ability to adapt to climate change.The study’s findings that more habitat was lost within protected areas than in unprotected areas throughout the Carpathians appear in line with recent allegations that Slovakia has failed to comply with national park standards according to IUCN guidelines.In a recent letter to the Ministry of Environment in Slovakia, the IUCN requested an update on the progress and implementation of their management recommendations issued over a decade ago. Based on Slovakia’s response, the IUCN could potentially downgrade the national park from a Class II to a V, which is considered a protected landscape managed primarily for recreation and conservation.The Slovak Environment Ministry maintains that it is ultimately up to them to decide how their protected areas are managed, but conservationists worry that a failure to cooperate with the IUCN could damage the area’s reputation and lead to a decrease in tourism.Or, as Mikoláš put it, “Who wants to go for holiday to see large clear-cuts?”Citations:Mikoláš, M., Tejkal, M., Kuemmerle, T., Griffiths, P., Svoboda, M., Hlásny, T., Leitão, P.J., & Morrissey, R.C. (2017). Forest management impacts on capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) habitat distribution and connectivity in the Carpathians. Landscape Ecology, 32:163. doi:10.1007/s10980-016-0433-3Banner image: By Joxerra Aihartza – Nire argazki bilduma / own picture, FAL, Conservationists slam the Slovakian government for mismanaging its most known national park, Tatra National Park, home to capercaillie and a number of other charismatic species.The IUCN is currently mulling downgrading Tatra National Park’s status due to logging, hunting, and overdevelopment without environmental safeguards.If that downgrade passes, it could have an impact on tourism to Tatra National Park – as its wildlife populations decline and its forests vanish. The largest member of the grouse family, the capercaillie, is losing ground in the Carpathian Mountains. A recent study published in the journal of Landscape Ecology found that suitable habitat for capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) – an iconic member of the grouse family – has decreased by roughly 85 percent in the Carpathian Mountains of Central and Eastern Europe.The study, led by Dr. Martin Mikoláš of the Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague, examined changes to preferred capercaillie habitat in the Carpathian Mountain range, which runs through portions of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine. Mikoláš and his team reached the ominous conclusion that more suitable capercaillie habitat was lost within protected areas than outside of them. While the finding is troubling, it’s not exactly surprising, especially in Slovakia.Tatra National Park lost nearly 40 percent of its tree cover between 2001 and 2014, according to an analysis of data provided by Global Forest Watch. Tree loss is happening in surges with one in 2014. Data for 2015 – 2016 is not available yet.The study arrives on the heels of recent criticisms from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in regards to Slovakia’s management of Tatra National Park, a known stronghold for capercaillie populations.The non-migratory capercaillie is a habitat specialist, requiring large areas of undisturbed forest to thrive. The capercaillie is dubbed “an umbrella species for biodiversity conservation,” by Mikoláš and his colleagues in their paper.“The capercaillie requires large areas of natural forests that are biodiversity-rich habitats. A single capercaillie individual requires an average of 550 hectares, and a viable population requires 250-500 square kilometers of natural forests,” Mikoláš said. He went on to explain that a conservation strategy tied to preserving populations of capercaillie would benefit a broad range of other species due to the bird’s reliance on large areas of pristine wilderness.Unfortunately, that strategy doesn’t appear to be playing out in Slovakia.Located within the Carpathians, the Tatra Mountain Range formed roughly 200 million years ago, sometime during the Paleozoic Era. Situated along the border of Poland and Slovakia, the Tatras cover an area of roughly 340 square kilometers, over 75 percent of which lies within Slovakia.Tatra National Park is the oldest national park in Slovakia and considered a national treasure by natives. Its highest peaks reach elevations of roughly 2,600 meters, and the area is known for its incredible beauty as well as intense windstorms.Aside from the capercaillie, the park is also home to the endemic Tatra chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra tatrica), a subspecies of the chamois. Commonly referred to as a goat-antelope, the Tatra chamois is considered a Critically Endangered species by the IUCN Red List. Other species that call the park home include the Alpine marmot (Marmota marmota), Eurasian brown bear (Ursus arctos arctos), Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx), European pine marten (Martes martes), grey wolf (Canis lupus), and red fox (Vulpes vulpes).Following a powerful storm in 2004 that leveled over 12,000 hectares, members of the IUCN visited Tatra National Park to help map out a conservation strategy for the region. The area is categorized as a national park under IUCN classifications and considered a Class II protected area in the World Database of Protected Areas (WDPA), a joint initiative between the IUCN and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).The capercaillie. Photo Credit: Karol Kalisky.The WDPA defines a Class II park as “a natural area of land or sea, designated to protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for this and future generations.”But recent criticism from the IUCN and a variety of NGOs allege that the park is not being managed according to these guidelines. Currently, hunting, logging, and commercial development are all occurring within the park at increasing rates. In many areas, the Slovak Ministry of Environment issues “exceptions,” or permits, for such activities to take place. According to local conservationists, permits for activities like hunting are relatively easy to obtain. That, combined with poaching due to insufficient patrolling, make for a grim situation for wildlife native to the area, according to sources.Collectively, conservationists say these activities are creating habitat fragmentation and disrupting ecological strategies of sensitive species, including capercaille.A number of conservationists have called for the Slovak Ministry of Environment to either revise its management policies or re-classify the area to reflect the reality of what’s actually taking place within the park borders.The Slovak Ministry of Environment did not return several requests for comment on the management of its protected areas.Dr. Juraj Svajda, a professor at Matej Bel University, noted that while natural disturbance always plays a role in habitat availability, “the bigger problem is reduction of size and quality…of habitat, including rising disturbance due to artificial human activities and impacts.”Svajda explained that development within the park often occurs through loopholes that allow existing infrastructure to be modernized, which then brings more tourists, which in turn requires more infrastructure.“We call this the salami method,” Svajda said. “Firstly they argue only for modernization of existing infrastructure, which brings more and more people, so then they argue that due to safety they must build ski-slopes wider, and so on.”In 2012, over 70 scientists signed an open letter urging the Prime Minister to halt construction and development activities within Slovakia’s national parks until proper environmental assessments are carried out.The Tatras happen to be a major hotbed for capercaillie populations, and, given their habitat requirements, their wellbeing in the Tatras serves as an important indicator for biodiversity health in the region. Article published by Maria Salazarlast_img