Jakub Kašpar

Deputy Director, The Krkonoše Mts. National Park, Czechia


What do we have in common?

Triglav and Krkonoše – what do we have in common? While Triglav is part of the Alps, Krkonoše Mts. belong among the Hercynian mountains. Triglav is composed of limestone, while in Krkonoše you can find mainly granite, phyllites and other metamorphic rocks. Triglav Mt. is almost 3 000 m high, while our highest point – Sněžka Mt. – is 1603 m only. Our flora is almost absolutely different, although it is awesome and rich in both parks.

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But, frankly, we have much in common. First – both National Parks are mountainous regions, so we share joint experience with activities like mountain hiking and biking, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing and skitouring…  Both mountain ranges are protected as National Parks, protecting the treasure of biodiversity important not only from national but also from European perspective. Both parks are also transboundary, so we have our sister-parks across the state border – Prealpi Giulie Parco Naturale in case of Triglav and Karkonoski Park Narodowy in case of Krkonoše. So we both have very strong and rich experience with cooperation and coordination with our friends “on the other side”.

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And then – we both have also the Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix), wonderful bird species which we call sometimes a “Black Knight” of our mountains. In our case we strive to protect one of the last two viable populations in all our country – and it is a hard work. Facing strong fragmentation of the area, continuously rising amounts of visitors coming to the area, increasing numbers of predators (esp. wild boars and red foxes)… Every winter we stand in front of strengthening problem of illegal freeride skiing – more and more people are switching to skitouring and significant number of them break the main visitors´ rule – to stay strictly on marked trails only while visiting the quiet area in the core zone of the NP.

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I would like to wish to our friend – Triglav National Park - all the best to the next 40 years of protection of nature of the Julian Alps, including our common treasure – the Black Grouse. And to both of us decades of fruitful cooperation in our joint “family” of Transboundary Parks Network of The EUROPARC Federation where we both belong to. All the best to all our colleagues – biologists, educators, rangers and all others to the next 40 years.

With love