Wednesday, 21 March 2012

SPEA celebrates World Wetlands Day with a field trip to Planalto dos Graminhais

The Society for the Study of birds (SPEA), within the Sustainable Laurel Project, celebrated the World Wetlands Day on the last Saturday, February 4th, with a field trip to Planalto dos Graminhais, to divulge this important natural area.

The central area in Planalto dos Graminhais is one of the interventioned areas of the Sustainable Laurel Project. This project is a result of the partnership between SPEA, the Azorian Government and the Povoação Municipality, that aims to recover the peatgod areas existing on that area, among other objectives.

The peatbogs are wetlands essential to the water cycle regulation and to ensure the clean water supply and in enough quantities to the local population. The Planalto dos Graminhais is one of the biggest peatbog areas of Azores and is in an advanced degradation state due to the human action.

The meeting point was on Ribeira dos Caldeirões car park, in Achada, Nordeste, and counted with 15 participants. The field trip began on the old path entrance to Pico da Vara that crosses the intervention zone. Despite the fog and wind, it was possible for all the participants get to know the unique characteristics of this area better and understand more about the work that has been done for its recovery. It was also possible to see the areas where drain ditches where made, the paths recovery and erosion zones, among others.

In some places, the results of the implemented actions can already be observed and the musk is recovering in some of the most degraded areas, a good sign and an incentive to the future. In the end remained the desire of a new visit (preferably in a sunnier and warmer day).

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