Using wild horse populations to help the environment instead of considering them to be feral vermin. Isn’t this a better way to treat our four legged friends? We will be announcing a photo contest later today celebrating our four-legged friends. HfH
MILOVICE (Czech Republic), Feb 16, 2015:
Wild ponies vanished from Czech soil thousands of years ago but are now making a comeback thanks to an imported herd that conservationists hope will rescue an unique ecosystem.
The 14 light brown mares chomp on grass in a small enclosure in Milovice, a small town just east of the capital Prague, as they recover from a long journey from Exmoor National Park in England.
The stocky animals with black-and-tan noses, who stand 1.25 metres tall, are one of just a handful of wild horse herds living in Central and Eastern Europe.
Archaeological research shows that groups of wild horses galloped across this part of the continent as far back as 4,700 to 3,700 BC before being domesticated.
“It’s the first time the Czech Republic will use ponies to save an ecosystem — a steppe in this case,” says Dalibor Dostal from the non-profit organisation Ceska krajina (Czech countryside).
Behind him stretches 40ha of plains covered in grass, plants, bushes and small trees — all delicacies for the ponies, who happily snack on leaves and branches.
Miroslav Jirku from the Czech Academy of Sciences is betting that the newcomers will devour the invasive species that are choking rare indigenous specimens of flora and fauna.
“The butterfly and the plant are the indisputable kings and queens of this area,” Jirku told AFP, pointing to the Alcon Blue butterfly and the tiny blue plant Cross Gentian as examples.
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