Na Bělidle 252/34
150 00 Praha 5
tel./fax: 274 866 700
Czech Society for Ornithology (CSO) is a non-governmental organisation uniting birdwatchers, nature lovers, amateurs and professionals interested in the research and protection of birds. It is the Czech national Partner of BirdLife International.
Regional branches: 6
Office (+library) in the capital of Prague
3 field stations, two of them situated in Important Bird Areas
World of the Birds – membership magazine (4 issues annually), in Czech.
CSO News – informational journal for members, (4 issues annually) Czech language
Sylvia – scientific journal, contains original papers, review articles and short notes on all aspects of ornithology in Czech (Slovak) or English.
Buteo – scientific journal publishes original reports on the biology of wild birds of preya nd owls, project and conference summaries, book reviews etc. in Czech, Slovak and English. Now suspended.
Bird of the Year – promotional brochure (1 every year) in Czech with short English summary.
History in short
1926 – foundation
1994 – joining BirdLife (Partner Designate)
1998 – BirdLife Partner
1990´s – shift from originally scientific organisation to modern, membership based, democratic and open NGO focused mainly on preservation of birds and their habitats and public awareness. Continuing development towards self sufficient, efficient organisation recognised and respected by governmental and non-governmental organisations and the public.
More about the history of the Czech Society for Ornithology
The very first session of people potentially interested in the membership of the Czechoslovak Society for Ornithology was held in Prague on April 5, 1926. The enthusiasts, who had gathered that day, discussed the possible content of activities, adopted a bylaws draft and elected an interim board. The bylaws were oficially acknowledged by the Ministry of Interior in 1928. The constituent gathering was then held on April 22, 1928 in Prague. Professor Jiří Janda was elected the first chairman of the society and the head of the first board. In the beginning, first activities were aimed at the monitoring of bird species distribution and abundance.
After the first bird-ringing centre had been established in 1934, bird-ringing became another basic activity of CSO members. A newsletter for members started to be published in 1928. The „Sylvia“ magazine was launched in 1934. Both of these periodicals have been issued ever since!
During the following years another men were elected to the chair office. Let´s name Dr.Alfred Hořice, doc.dr. Otakar Štěpánek,doc.dr.Walter Černý, prof.dr.Zdeněk Veselovský and prof.dr.Karel Šťastný. There were a few more enthusiasts who helped the society to flourish. It was Josef Musílek who engaged himself at the process of the society establishment and who helped in editing of the two periodicals. There were also Josef Jirsík and Ota Kadlec involved in the beginning of the bird-ringing station existence.
The period of new advancement started after 1945 when the work of the Czech ornithologists began to be laid on a professional basis. Another boom occured after 1972 when new regional subsidiaries had been founded and specialized groups of experts had started to work. Since 1965 the society members have participated on the International waterfowl census which is the activity with the longest tradition. It has also been Nesting birds distribution survey since 1973 which is another long lasting activity. The group for owls and birds of prey survey is another very hardworking group of the society members.
Of course, the year 1989 became a milestone in the history of CSO especially in terms of international work challenges and opportunities. After the BirdLife International organization had been established in Rosenheim in 1994, the Czech Society for Ornithology joined international activities and projects and found its way to the BirdLife International organization in 1998. A good deal of new projects, focused on bird protection and survey, has appeared. Most of them have been realized through international cooperation.
Currently the CSO has almost 2000 members and has become a renowned non-governmental organization with a good reputation not only in the Czech Republic but also beyond its borders. The CSO participates on the creation of bird protection rules and laws and helps the state authorities this way.
More about Czech Society for Ornitology
runs its own projects and cooperates on international projects aimed at conservation of birds and their habitats, focusing on education, popularisation and promotion of bird protection. Examples of CSO's own projects include the mapping of breeding distribution (1973-1977, 1985-1989) and wintering distribution (1982-1985) of birds in the Czech Republic, surveys of bird populations in small areas and large cities, inventory of localities of local, regional and national importance for birds, monitoring breeding water bird populations, ornithological surveys and research using radio transmitters and bird-ringing.
There are working groups within the CSO concentrating their activities in research and conservation of a particular species or group (White Stork, Black Stork, Mute Swan, Birds of Prey and Owls, Fowllike Birds, Corncrake, Waders, Shrikes), and these working groups also participate in various international programmes.
CSO participates in preparing and ammending national laws and public notices and proposing the establishment of Special Protection Areas. The organisation is represented in national committees for international agreements. In recent past CSO has actively participated in the preparation of the Czech Republic and its legal system for EU entry.
CSO members help the birds by providing nestboxes and artificial nest platforms for storks, raptors, and water birds and by feeding in the winter. Educational work of the CSO is based on popular activities for the public such as the International Dawn Chorus Day and World/European Birdwatch and other various actions aimed at popular and well-known species - spring return of a selected species, Bird of the Year campaign, Mute Swan and White Stork census and others. Various lectures and exhibitions are organised and the media is increasingly involved in the promotion of bird protection.
CSO welcomes all individuals interested in the protection of birds and their habitats, and everybody with an interest in birdwatching and nature as a whole. CSO members can choose from a long and rich list of activities and programmes according to their individual interests. CSO members are welcome to use the organisation's extensive library, and they can participate in various excursions, lectures, seminars and workshops. The organisation also maintains several field stations at attractive localities that can be visited by CSO members throughout the year. There is a network of regional branches of CSO (in southern, western, northern and eastern Bohemia as well as in northern and southern Moravia) and local CSO clubs, that offer further activities and programmes for members and the wider public in their respective regions.
ANYONE WHO IS INTERESTED IS ENCOURAGED TO JOIN!