NCA CR >> EEA grants >> SGSII-4 the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Publicity

SGSII-4 the Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Publicity

EEAGrantsMinistry of the Environment of the Czech Republic

Supported by grants from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

This website was created with the financial support of the EEA Grants 2009–2014 and the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic. Responsibility for its contents fully lies with the Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic (NCA CR) and the website may in no circumstances be considered to be the opinion of the donor or of the Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic.


Project name: Promoting Preservation of the Freshwater Pearl Mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera) and its Habitat

Project Nr.: MGSII - 4

Project location: The catchment area of the Blanice and Malse rivers, South Bohemia Region, Prague

Financial support: EEA Grants, Small Grants Scheme (SGSII) entitled “Action Plans for Endangered Species II’, support area 1: “Realisation of Approved Action Plans and Management Plans for Endangered Plant and Animal Species”

Total Resources: 1,552,555 CZK incl. VAT

Financing: Financial resources from EEA Grants are assigned in the amount of 1,319,672 CZK, which is 85% of the anticipated total project expenditure. The state budget grants financial resources in the amount of 232,884 CZK, which is 15% of the anticipated total project expenditure.

Project duration: 1.4.2015 – 30.4.2017

Project partners:

  • Beleco, z.s. (NGO)

Project guarantee:

Project Objective and Scope:

This project comprises five main activity types. The first part is dedicated to raising public awareness. A newly established website will present information about the Freshwater Pearl Mussel (FWPM) and oligotrophic watercourses in a popular educational form using articles, news, interactive games and a fiction-like online diary of the FWPM. A Facebook profile for the FWPM will be created, giving the latest information on planned events.

Schools and the general public will be offered to attend five lectures and two excursions directly in the catchment areas occupied by the FWPM. The pupils and students will have the chance to test their new knowledge in a series of worksheets. Two popularising articles in magazines and a (comics) about the FWPM, including a quiz or a game, will be written.

A geocache will be set for trips and riddle lovers. To find its exact coordinates knowledge about the FWPM and its environment will be required.

The effective protection of the FWPM depends on the processes within the entire catchment area. It is therefore absolutely necessary to be aware of any possible conflicts with the interests of the stakeholders in the catchment areas of the Blanice and Malse rivers. This will be revealed by sociological research which will identify stakeholders needs. Obtained results will be publicly presented. A need of close cooperation and communication with locals is linked to establishing a patron of a locality who knows the local relationships as well as the requirements of the FWPM and who will be able to communicate with the public and transfer and discuss the experience with professionals.

Even though the Czech Republic was pioneer country in conservation, care and practice of FWPM, our foreign colleagues have still had no chance to get known the Czech know-how and action plan in English. The current range of the action plan, however, is not suitable for direct translation into English, and will require appropriate reduction and editing before it can be translated into English.

After more than 30 years of activities in FWPM conservation, a great amount of news and valuable information was gathered and is, unfortunately, spread over the regional archives, which complicates its practical use. Our efforts will therefore aim at gathering all the relevant documents from authorities, archives and museums, and creating a database about the FWPM. Database will serve as a source of information, for example about FWPM original occurrence range or current conservation activities.

About the FWPM

The FWPM (Margaritifera margaritifera) is an umbrella species for the conservation of oligotrophic watercourses. It is highly sensitive to disturbed natural processes in the whole catchment area. This makes it an organism whose effective preservation requires the wide participation of the public and stakeholders, especially farmers, forest management staff, fishermen, local governments, etc.) along the entire catchment area where this species occurs.

In the past, the FWPM was threatened mostly by pearl pickers. The adverse impacts today are eutrophication and chemical pollution of waters, inconvenient temperature regime as a result of overgrown forest over spring areas and watercourses, erosion and sedimentation in watercourses caused by intense agricultural and forest management, unbalanced hydrological regime, calcium metabolism disorder and a lack of fish or genetically unsuitable host fish species. To mitigate these effects, broad cooperation is necessary of the many entities in the whole catchment area where the FWPM occurs. This can be assisted by the demand raised by public awareness and thus help to to preserve this interesting animal species.


The Freshwater Pearl Mussel, author: O.Spisar Juvenile form of Freshwater Pearl Mussel, detail, author: O.Spisar Adult Freshwater Pearl Mussel, author: O.Simon

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