The second volume of the journal appeared.
Details from the foreword of the book: >>
The fauna of the Mecsek Mts 2, Hungary
Acta Naturalia Pannononica 2 (30.11.2007)
Redigit: Imre FAZEKAS
In the name of the General Assembly of Baranya County, I greet every reader who takes the second volume of the book about the fauna of Mecsek in his hand. The first, recently published volume has proved that the fauna of Mecsek is remarkably diverse, its zoogeographical connections to the surroundings are uniquely divaricate.
Scientists from Hungary and other European countries have noticed the special biogeographical condition of the Mecsek mountain from as early as the 18th century. In the 19th century, famous botanists and zoologists travelled through the region. According to their research it became more and more clear that the Mecsek, like a Mediterranean ecological island, provides home for innumerable species of plants and animals with southern distribution. They also noticed that distant elements of the flora and fauna of eastern origin also appear alongside Atlantic species, a situation which is found nowhere else in the whole Carpathian basin. Such was the reputation of Mecsek that in 1846 the Hungarian Physicians and Naturalists held their national Congress in Pécs.
By the time of the millennium, domestic and European collections had already preserved thousands of preparations of plants and animals from Mecsek. A series of smaller and larger zoological publications had been published in Hungarian, Austrian and German scientific reviews. The name of Mecsek became generally known in Europe. During the two World Wars and subsequently, the intensity of the surveys has been much less intense.
Later, one after the other, summary monographs about the fauna of other natural regions of Hungary have been published, while the Mecsek remained unheeded. The zoologist, Imre Fazekas tried to dissolve this anomaly and appealed to the leading Hungarian researchers in 2000. Following his request, nearly thirty specialists set to work, and as a result, by 2006 the first volume of “The fauna of Mecsek” had been published, in which data on knowledge of the distribution, ecology, zoogeography and conservation of 3245 species of animals was set out. This book is already on the shelves of all significant Hungarian museums, research institutions, universities and bigger libraries, and many copies are in the leading zoological institutions of Europe.
In this second volume, the authors present a further 2500 species of animals. Among the new species are some which were previously unknown by specialists, either in Hungary or in Central Europe. The use of modern and more efficient research techniques will result in more and more new species of animals being discovered in the Mecsek, but the zoologists also report that scores of species of the region have disappeared. The population of certain species of animals barely reached the observation threshold. The disappearance and extinction of species mean new challenges for conservation, forestry, agriculture and for all farmers. The authors unequivocally point out that already the Mecsek has met with losses beyond recovery as a result of the because of the detrimental effects of urbanization.
This new volume about the Mecsek points out once more that the exploration of the fauna has to be carried on and that the results of the research have to be introduced to the domestic and international general public within an as wide range as possible. It has to be achieved that knowledgeable teachers in secondary and university educational institutions breed students who, as responsible citizens in high posts and in everyday life, will be able to protect natural heritage and to develop a harmonious and varied landscape in the forthcoming decades.
I send this volume of essays and studies off with the hope that it will be of use to everyone who wishes to get deeper information about the fauna of the Mecsek mountain. I recommend it to students, teachers, scientists and anybody who wants to gain thorough knowledge about our surroundings from the point of view of an important discipline.
Pécs, 25 September 2007
Dr. Hargitai János
General Assembly of Baranya County