European countries have not been successful in their long-term fight against the loss of biological diversity. The return of many animal species, mainly large carnivores, is being held back because of three countries: Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
It is those particular countries that form a strict boundary beyond which the key species are not able to advance. Such conclusions were made after comparing these three states with adjacent countries in connection with the occurrence of certain types of endangered species.
For instance, in Hungary there are no bears while their eastern neighbour Romania has a population of 5000-6000 bears. North of Hungary, in Slovakia, there are 800 bears.
In Austria all the bears have become extinct recently, despite the fact that in neighbouring Slovenia there is a stable population of about 400 bears. Similarly, in the Czech Republic there are only 5-10 wolves – and their population is not growing, even though in Slovakia there are about 180 wolves, in Germany about 120 wolves and in Poland 800-900 wolves.
In this respect, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic are the worst countries in Europe. “In these regions, biodiversity, and mainly large carnivores, are getting lost like the ships in the notorious Bermuda Triangle,” points out Dalibor Dostal, the director of conservation organization European Wildlife.
Such dramatic decrease of biodiversity in those three countries is not explained simply as a difference between economically more and less advanced states. For instance, the living standard of the Slovenians is higher than the living standard of the Czechs. Wealthy Germany, the most advanced European economy, shows that the protection of endangered species and wealth are not in contradiction. For example, in the past two years the population of wolves in Germany has doubled. More....