Biodiversity in the Ostrava Zoo
Besides modern breeding facilities for bred animals, Ostrava Zoo is building also flats for sparrows, natural hatcheries for lizards, wooden piles for beetles, bumblebee hives, butterfly meadows and other elements.
For what purpose? To conserve biodiversity!
The shared goal of these constructions and measures for wild animals is to help boost biodiversity of the whole zoo premises. In addition to nature conservation all over the world, the zoo takes care also of the local nature which it protects in cooperation with the city of Ostrava and with the Moravian-Silesian region. Furthermore, the zoo is trying to inspire and motivate the general public. And there is a serious reason for that.
Is it necessary? Yes, the loss of species is alarming!
We have been currently experiencing a steep decline in bees, butterflies and many other insect species due to which we are losing also many insectivorous birds. In Germany, insect populations have dropped by 76% in the past 27 years. In North America, 95% swallows have disappeared in the past 40 years. Other sources talk about a 15% loss of birds in just 10 years.
Why in the Ostrava Zoo? It is located in a unique area!
The area of the Ostrava Zoo is located in the Great Ostrava Forest – a unique and diverse biotope covering over 100 hectares. Thanks to the natural characteristic, diversity and variety of most of the area, it is a favourable environment not only for bred animals but also for many animals and plants living and growing freely in the zoo’s area – often being rare and protected species.
Ostrava Zoo has implemented over 300 various measures to increase the biodiversity of its area.
- In the zoo, over 300 bird houses were installed to serve as spare tree cavities.
- Dead wood is indispensable for development of many animals, such as beetles.
- Pools for amphibians were excavated in several places in the zoo.
- One of the very simple measures is also a wall for lizards.
- Flowering plants – an important food source for bees and bumblebees.
- The "Butterfly Meadow" raises awareness about the decline of butterflies.
Usually, these measures are simple to implement, yet of high significance for many organisms. Many of them are located on visitor trails so people can see how easily each of us can (and should) contribute to protection of the surrounding environment.
Bees and bumblebees in the Ostrava Zoo
In 2018, the Ostrava Zoo began keeping European honey bee (Apis mellifera). The main reason is primarily the alarming loss of this admirable and indispensable pollinator.
- The "Bee Trail" in the zoo educates visitors about the importance of bees and about the current threats to them.
- A regular event for the general public is the honey harvesting that we organize with local beekeepers.
- Children can convince themselves that bees are no dangerous creatures with stings.
- In the summer of 2018, the zoo began with bee keeping.
- Bees must also have an access to water.
- In addition to the beehives, several bumblebee hives are located in the zoo.
We create a favourable environment for many local species directly in the zoo premises and at the same time we show easy ways how each of us can contribute to the biodiversity conservation, for example, at home or in the school garden.