Farewell to RNDr. Petr H. Verner, PhD.

14/04/2016 23:33

The direct ancestor of man “was born” in the vast African plains more than two million years ago. There are our origins. Petr H. Verner had felt always these roots that was the internal motivation of his lifelong desire for a deeper knowledge and understanding of Africa.

He was the spiritual father of the conservation program of the critically endangered Western subspecies of Derby eland. Since 1998 he had worked closely with the Institute of Tropical and Subtropical Agriculture (nowadays the Faculty of Tropical AgriSciences), Czech University of Life Sciences Prague and he was turning the idea in life, planned and directed the conservation and research of this antelope species. In 2010 he initiated the creation of the association Derbianus Conservation.

Petr H. Verner managed to concentrate around himself young and enthusiastic colleagues willing to devote the time and often their own financial resources to contribute to the conservation of African nature. If we manage to save Western Derby eland, it will be mostly thanks to Petr H. Verner.

Petr Hubert Verner was for us above all a man, naturalist, entomologist, zoologist, ecologist, Africanists. But also an idealist, philanthropist, humanist, aesthete. Renaissance man of wide interests. Lover of music, philosophy and theology, lover of beauty and life, with a glare to transcendence.  

He left us forever on April 3rd, 2016, however, his legacy in us marches on.

Identification team of this year

23/02/2016 13:40

Marketa Grunova, Anna Kubatova, and Leah Drury, the team members that met this year in Senegal to identify the newborn calves. Experienced Marketa, a doctoral student at the Czech University of Life Sciences Prague (CULS), is the team coordinator. She has huge experience from Senegal, within the last five months she spent only three weeks in the Czech Republic. Her specialization is environmental education, which she devoted most of her time in autumn 2015. Anna is a newcomer to the field team, but she knows Derby elands very well. As a part of her doctoral thesis at the CULS she deals with the genetics of Derby eland, but this year for the first time she has the opportunity to see the animals of her research with her own eyes. Czech team this year is extended by one foreign member. Leah Drury, rhino keeper from Knowsley Safari Park, joined Marketa and Anna, and as an employee of Knowsley she is trying to find possible cooperation of Lord Derby's safari park in the conservation programme for Derby eland.

What are the results of this year's identifications? Will there be more males or females? Watch our Web site and Facebook and will soon find out.


Identification team and employees of the Bandia reserve cooperate during the identification of newborn calves.

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The NGO Derbianus Conservation (former Derbianus CSAW) was founded by a group of experts from the Institute of Tropics and Subtropics, Czech University of Live Sciences Prague, in 2010 to continue a series of the projects of Czech-Senegalese cooperation running from 2000.

The main activities of Derbianus Coservation are focused on the conservation programme of Western Derby Eland (Taurotragus derbianus derbianus) in Senegal. For more informaton see section Conservation Programme

Since 2012 the Western Derby Eland Conservation Programme proudly bears the brand of WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums).

In 2015, we became an associate member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).