Campaign aims to help save endangered species in Czech Republic

Lynx, photo: Silke Sohler, Creative Commons 3.0

2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, aimed at raising awareness of the disappearance of many of the Earth’s species and finding ways to reverse the current trend. The Ministry of the Environment has just launched an information campaign to that end here in the Czech Republic, where around one third of the country’s 80,000 animal and plant species are believed to be in danger. So what does the campaign hope to achieve? I spoke to the ministry’s Dagmar Zíková.

Early purple orchid, photo: Orchi, Creative Commons 3.0
“We have more than one thousand plants on the list of endangered species. For example orchids; many species of orchids are very threatened, often due to extensive agriculture and lack of management of the meadows. But to be honest of course not every single species on the list is really threatened by extinction at this moment. The red list has several categories, from those that are close to extinction to those that need some kind of attention, management and care.”

What are the most endangered species?

“It is sometimes very difficult to say when animals or plants species are extinct. They live in the wilderness and it is not always easy to say that they have disappeared from nature. Plants may disappear for a few seasons and then appear again. The same may be true for animals, for example when we talk about wolves or lynx. These animals are very rare in our nature. Hopefully they wont disappear but it can change very quickly. It is all a matter of a very subtle balance.”

The Ministry of Environment launched a campaign on the occasion of the International Year of Biodiversity. One of the aims is to stop further disappearance of species. Can a campaign of this kind really make a difference?

Lynx, photo: Silke Sohler, Creative Commons 3.0
“We are not that ambitious. I don’t think that we can stop the loss of biodiversity. The campaign alone cannot make a difference. However, I think it is very important that every person is aware of the richness our nature provides and of the possibility of making harm that could be irreversible. So if we manage to reach most of the people with the massage that our nature is unique and we all need to think about what we do and whether what we do is friendly towards nature, then our campaign will be successful.”