Introduction to printed version
This is the second volume of the planned ten-volume series of publications dealing with the protected areas of the Czech Republic, written by the specialists of the Agency for Nature Conservation and Landscape Protection of the Czech Republic in cooperation with external experts. The purpose of the authors is to give the reader basic information on natural condition of Prague and all its officially declared areas under special protection. To save space and improve orientation abbreviations and pictograms have been used extensively (see Explanatory Notes).
The book is intended primarily for all lovers of nature, expecially students and young people in general. For this reason it is supplemented with a glossary of scientific terms and indices of botanical and zoological names with Latin eaquivalents. For technical reasons it was not possible to maintain a strictly alphabetic sequence of protected areas. The respective protected area can be found in the index on the contents page.
The book can serve also foreign readers for whom the English translation of its text has been issued separately.
The publication is supplemented with selective bibliography leading the reader to further information.
In respect of natural sciences the territory of Prague, particularly its protected areas, belong to the best researched regions of the Czech Republic at present. Therefore, should we not make a selection of information this book could be five times as thick. However, both economic reasons and the requirement of proportionality with other volumes of the series made us selective. Nevertheless we have extended somewhat the chapters concerned with fauna of the individual protected areas, chosing beetles as a model group. This choice had several reasons
Most protected areas of Prague have been investigated in some detail with reference to this group. Moreover, beetles are less conspicuous than e.g. butterflies and the publication of information need not have an adverse impact on their further existence on their respective sites. The described beetles are food-bound with host plants or their consumers, as a result of which they are highly informative about the natural values of the individual protected areas, their conservation, vegetation composition and microclimate. Last but not least this very limited selection may suggest the enormous wealth of species inhabiting small sites in the close neighbourhood of densely populated areas the population of which is entirely unaware of its existence. Moreover, the diversity of species indicates a certain standard of natural environment which informs to a considerable extent whether this environment is still suitable for man, whether he can still lead a content and fully valuable life in it. Most of us flies at least on weekends to country cottages, open air and nature. However, we should try to conserve and use also natural environment directly in the city.
We hope that this book will be a surprise for most inhabitants of Prague, that it will fill a certain lacune on the book market and perhaps in our knowledge and that it will help to conserve natural values of our capital in the spirit of the slogan "Know and Protect".