The International Conference on the Biology of Butterflies (9th International Conference on the Biology of Butterflies, BOB 2023) is a professional conference that takes place every four years. This year we had the honor of organising it in July in Prague. This conference provides an opportunity for scientists and biologists from around the world to discuss the latest knowledge and research on butterflies and related species. Participants can present their research, share ideas and make professional connections with other experts in the field. The conference promotes collaboration and advances the understanding of butterfly biology, ecology, behavior, genetics and conservation of the species.
The four-day conference had a comprehensive scientific programme, which was supplemented by excursions on one day. The scientific programme consisted of 4 plenary lectures by prominent speakers from the field, expert lectures, 12 scientific symposia, a poster section and a closing ceremony during which student prizes were awarded.
The already mentioned excursions took place on the second day of the conference. Participants went to valuable natural and/or restored semi-natural habitats with interesting communities of butterflies (and other organisms). There were 4 locations to choose from. Within the framework of Milovice in Central Bohemia, the participants went to a former military training area, where herds of European bison, Exmoor ponies, and tauros contribute to the extensive restoration of natural scrubby lawns and the increased occurrence of butterflies. The second excursion took the participants to the Český Středohoří, where they visited several locations in and around the Raná Reserve to see the results of successful conservation projects specifically targeting populations of endangered butterfly species. The third group went to the Prokop Valley in Prague, where they could see rare species of butterflies. They ended the excursion at a local brewery. The fourth excursion was planned again to Central Bohemia, this time to the Týnčany Karst. During this excursion, participants could collect biological samples (except for species protected by law).
On the penultimate day, a conference dinner was prepared. It was not a typical dinner in an enclosed space, but our project team prepared a buffet dinner on the boat, during which the participants enjoyed a beautiful evening cruise along the Vltava River with a view of Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and other Prague gems. The comfortable atmosphere was underlined by a rock-n-roll band that played on the ship after dinner.
The 9th edition of the International Conference on Butterfly Biology was an addition to this summer season for us, and we enjoyed the entire organization of the conference. We thank the client, partner, all speakers, and 208 participants for a beautiful international event. Of course, thanks go to our project team, led by senior project manager Jitka Puldová.