Department of game management and wildlife biology

Forest Zoology

   As is clear from the name of the department, zoology and hunting are the basis of all professional and pedagogical activities at the department. It deals with various aspects of general zoology, general phenomena and patterns in all groups of animals, as well as aspects of systematic zoology, which studies individual groups of animals. However, emphasis is primarily placed on applied zoology, especially “ Forest Zoology”, which transfers theoretical knowledge of zoology into practice. Students at the department can also learn the basics of general disciplines, such as anatomy, cytology, embryology, ethology, physiology, histology, morphology, parasitology or taxonomy, as well as disciplines defined by a particular taxonomic group, such as entomology, helminthology, herpetology, ichthyology, mammaliology, or ornithology. In terms of interdisciplinary sciences closely related to zoology, attention is primarily focused on animal ecology, gradology (the science of pest reproduction) and zoogeography.

   The main zoological issues taught at the department include the biology of birds ("feathered game") and mammals ("furry game"). The textbook "Forest Zoology" from renowned authors working at the department is mostly used for theoretical teaching. Practical teaching is aided by a unique collection of preparations, which are not only very rich in species, but are completely newly made by our leading preparators. With its scope and quality, it is certainly one of the best university zoological collections in the Czech Republic. The collection contains hundreds of dermoplastic preparations, assembled skeletons of birds and mammals, and the skulls of most species in the Czech Republic. The collection also includes dozens of castings of game tracks. The most interesting exhibits certainly include a dermoplastic preparation and the skeleton of the "bedtime story" bear Vojta, which was donated to the Faculty by the director and owner, Václav Chaloupek, after his death. The collections are constantly being expanded with new additions, even with rare species of birds and mammals (however, the Faculty must always obtain the appropriate legislative permits for these exhibits).

   In addition to teaching, zoological research is a necessary activity of the department’s staff. It mostly focuses on current biology and ecology of ungulates, large carnivores and forest species of bats and grouse. The department has received significant financial assistance through various grant agencies to address these issues. Important recent research results include published works on the telemetry of wild boar, red deer, sika deer and bison; on the dietary requirements of wild boar, red deer and wolves; on the spread of the American swine fever, on the impact of traffic on the landscape of game populations, on the spread of non-native species of animals in the Czech Republic such as coypu, mink, the northern raccoon and the raccoon dog, and on certain aspects of grouse. Students thus have a unique opportunity to participate in research teams of important zoological projects and gain invaluable experience for their further professional growth.

Research of forest species of bats

   At the Department of Game Management and Wildlife Biology, Prof. Ing. Jaroslav Červený, CSc researchs bats. Bats are the only mammals that can actively fly and that orient themselves through very effective echolocation. In addition, they have two completely different and unique phases of their lives. In the cold part of the year, they fall into a real hibernation in wintering grounds (e.g. caves, galleries, cellars, hollow trees). In the summer, they form communities (mostly colonies of females with young), which are unparalleled in other of our mammals. Regular censuses in wintering grounds are carried out mainly in Šumava and other areas of the Czech Republic. In summer, bats are regularly counted in their hiding places. During the entire vegetation season, they are captured in special impact nets, or their sound manifestations are monitored and recorded with the help of so-called "bat detectors". The research mainly monitors the population dynamics of individual species and the hunting territories of individual species. FLD students are also involved in bat watching. Special research is also being conducted in various parts of Africa and focuses on faunism, taxonomy, and the biology of bats and wild savannah bats. This year, the monitoring of bats living in forests will be carried out in detail at the School Forest Enterprise in Kostelec nad Černými Lesy.

Research of large carnivores 

   Prof. Ing. Jaroslav Červený, CSc. and prof. RNDr. Petr Koubek, CSc are interested in the research of large carnivores at the Department of Game Management and Wildlife Biology. Monitoring has a long tradition at our department, which with the above-mentioned professors has moved from other academic workplaces. In 1995, a detailed observation of the lynx and later of the wolf and the red fox (which, however, does not belong to the typical large carnivores) began. In all these species, population density, territoriality, spatiotemporal activity, predation effect and food were and are still monitored. The traditional method of data acquisition is field tracking and searching for residence signs. The more modern methods use telemetry of marked individuals and camera monitoring using so-called camera traps. Within the research of large carnivores, the department closely cooperates, especially with the Šumava National Park and some Military Forests divisions. Samples are also collected for genetic analyzes performed by other workplaces. Students who work on their bachelor's and master's theses on large carnivores also participate in the research.

Research on the spread of invasive and expanding mammalian species

   Researchers on this topic are at our department are Doc. Ing. Tomáš Kušta, PhD and Prof. Ing. Jaroslav Červený, CSc. The research is focused on Coypu, American mink, Raccoon, Raccoon dog and Jackal. In these species, the spread of abundance, predation effect and food was monitored throughout the Czech Republic. The traditional data acquisition method is field tracking, search for residence signs and data collection using questionnaires. Other methods use camera traps, formerly telemetry of marked individuals. Students are also involved in the research, working on their bachelor's and master's theses on invasive and expanding mammalian species.