LIFEorchids in

Czech Republic

Grasslands hosting orchid populations (habitat 6210*) occur in Czechia, where they feature high species richness mostly at sites featuring a long historical continuity (Chytry et al. 2015). However, the current conservation status of this habitat at the national level is not satisfactory.

Furthermore, the analysis of the decline of orchid species in 27 countries throughout Europe on the basis of recently published red lists has revealed that the threat level in central Europe (including Czech Republic) is significantly higher than in any other European region. In particular, five orchid species targeted by the project also occur, or had been reported, in Czechia, where their threat levels range from being “endangered” to “regionally extinct”, according to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) classification [Anacamptis coriophora: regionally extinct, Anacamptis morio: endangered, Himantoglossum adriaticum: critically endangered, Ophrys apifera: critically endangered, Ophrys fuciflora: critically endangered.

While in Italy implementation of land stewardship is its infancy, the Czech Republic has a longstanding experience in the field, grounded in a strong tradition of private conservation (Kundrata & Hušková 2005), which is represented for example by land associations or ” land trusts “.

Through the participation of ČSOP (Český svaz ochránců přírody, Czech Union for Nature Conservation), which coordinates the national movement of land trusts, we aim at developing synergies to counteract orchid declines in both counties. LIFEorchids plans to develop protocols on orchid reintroduction and management that can be easily adopted by other protected areas. One of our explicit aims is to make the developed techniques available to managers of other orchid-rich grassland sites and other conservationists in order to encourage their adoption for reinforcing and/or reintroducing either the same protected species that are the object of this project or similar ones. If you are interested in getting acquainted with the techniques for the in vitro propagation of grassland orchids, please get in touch with us.

Contact: Jan Moravec, ČSOP (