- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Common Pochard Becomes Czech Bird of the Year 2023
The common pochard, a medium-sized diving duck, has been declared the Bird of the Year 2023 in the Czech Republic by the Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO). This species is the second most numerous duck species after the wild duck, but it is facing many challenges to its survival. It needs wetlands with small islands and reeds as its natural habitat, which are rare in the Czech Republic. As a result, these ducks are nesting on ponds where they must face hunters. Despite being a globally endangered species since 2015, the common pochard is still among the game birds that can be hunted in the Czech Republic, which is unacceptable.
Ornithologists are striving to remove the common pochard from the list of game birds in the Czech Republic. According to COS director Zdenek Vermouzek, from 7,000 to 14,000 pochard couples are nesting in Czechia every year, and about 3,000 individual birds spend the winter there. The Bird of the Year has been granted since 1992, and experts use it to raise awareness of the particular bird species and at the same time, urge the public to monitor and protect them.
The common pochard is facing many threats to its survival. In addition to hunting, the destruction and degradation of wetlands, the fragmentation of habitats, and the introduction of non-native species are major threats. Wetland loss is a critical problem for waterfowl worldwide, and the common pochard is no exception. The population decline of this species is a sign of the deterioration of wetland ecosystems.
The CSO is calling for the restoration of wetlands and the preservation of existing ones to protect the common pochard and other waterfowl. Wetlands are also essential for maintaining the overall biodiversity and functioning of the ecosystem. The common pochard plays an important role in wetland ecosystems as an indicator of the health and quality of the habitat.
In conclusion, the declaration of the common pochard as the Bird of the Year 2023 in the Czech Republic highlights the importance of preserving wetlands, protecting waterfowl, and raising awareness about the threats they face. The conservation of wetlands is crucial for the survival of not only the common pochard but also other waterfowl and wildlife that depend on this habitat.
Article by Prague Forum