In recent years, it has become a tradition among Hungarian nature conservation organizations to allow voters to choose the animals and plants of the year. By having the internet vote on the animals and plants of the given year, the organizations aim to draw attention to environmental conservation issues. We have collected some of this year’s winners, below.
Winners of 2019:
Bird of the year: Black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus)
The black-winged stilt is a widely distributed, long-legged wader. Adults are 33–36 centimeters long. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill, are blackish above and white below and have a white head and neck covered with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often accompanied by a greenish gloss. Females’ backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black remiges. It is a protected species in Hungary; its conservation value is 250,000 forints.
Fish of the year: Common Rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)
The Common Rudd is a benthopelagic freshwater fish, widely spread in Europe and middle Asia around the basins of the North, Baltic, Black, Caspian and Aral seas. It is one of the most beautiful fishes in Hungary. It prefers standing waters and slow watercourses, such as swamps or canals. Here, we can observe them in smaller or larger teams as they swim near the water surface.
Insect of the year: Alpine longhorn beetle (Rosalia Alpina)
The Rosalia longicorn is 15 to 38 mm (0.59 to 1.50 in) long. The antennae can be up to twice as long as the rest of the body in males and the same length in females. The elytra are flat and blue-gray with a variety of black spots. They have a prominent spot on their thorax, a silky one on their front, and a small one on their back. Both the antennae and the legs have the same coloration as the body. The coloration serves as good camouflage in their preferred habitat, the European Beech. The alpine longhorn has been a protected species in Hungary since 1982; its conservation value is 50,000 forints.
Amphibian of the year: Fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra)
The fire salamander is usually black with yellow spots or stripes to a varying degree, and can have a very long lifespan; one specimen lived for more than 50 years in Germany. This spectacular species prefers the old reefs and, in particular, the denser, darker, deep gorges preferably near water-filled brooks. The forest type is found mainly in beech and hornbeam oak trees. It is also protected, with a conservation value of 50, 000 forints.
Mammal of the year: Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx)
The Eurasian lynx is a medium-sized wildcat. It inhabits temperate and boreal forests up to an altitude of 5,500 meters. It is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and depletion of prey. The European lynx population is estimated to be 10,000 and is considered stable. However, it has been a protected species in Hungary since 1988; its conservation value is 500,000 forints.
The mahaleb cherry (Cerasus mahaleb) was deemed tree of the year; galenite was chosen as the mineral of the year; Komlosaurus carbonis is the remnant of the year; the mushroom of the year is the bronze boletus (Boletus aereus); the almond tree on Havi-hegy, Pécs was named the unique tree of the year and Hungarian Leopard’s Bane (zergevirág) is the wildflower of the year.
via vaskarika.hu, Hungarian nature conservation organizations, wikipedia