Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Ornithological Tourism actions held in São Miguel and Terceira

It was held last week in São Miguel and Terceira two editions of the Workshop "Potential and Development of Ornithological Tourism. Basics notions and recommendations for its implementation". These workshops were designed to establish a knowledge base on the subject that serves to train future professionals to integrate their activity in the ornithological tourism component, being administrative technicians, tourism or biology students, hoteliers, guides or businessmen of all types.

It is important to know in what this "new" activity consists to achieve a quality offer and have competent professionals, respectful of the environment and that undertake a sustainable activity. The workshops had a theoretical component and a day of field visit, that in São Miguel consisted on visiting the Priolo's Environmental Center.

It was possible for participants to know and understand some of the important issues in the development of this type of turism, beyond the great potential that exists in the Azores.

This action is part of the project IPOT - International ornithological tourism Project in protected areas in the Mediterranean 2011-2013 Leonardo da Vinci II, Innovation Transfer Project, 2011.

The organization was a partnership between SPEA and ART - Regional Tourism Association of the Azores, and counted with the support of the Bensaude Group.

Pictures by: Domingos Leitão

SPEA celebrated International Biodiversity Day with an endemic plantation

SPEA celebrated in São Miguel island the International Biodiversity Day organizing an endemic plants plantation activity with the students of Teaching Centre of the Basic School of Povoação. With the help of the students from this center we were able to plant 500 endemic plants in one of the areas interventioned by the Life Sustainable Laurel Forest Project.

The Life Sustainable Laurel Forest Project has, throughout this school year, maintained a partnership with the Pedagogical Centre of Povoação which includes weekly volunteer work in the Projects nurseries.
Since the work usually done in the nursery are done, we went with this class of 10 students to the field in order for them to know one of the intervention areas of the LIFE Laurel Forest Project.

In the visited area they were intervened and controlled invasive species such as the Australian Cheesewood, the Ginger Lily and the Madeira Sweet Pepperbush. After applying the herbicide, plant by plant, it takes some time before planting, so that the herbicide action doesn't harm the plants.

So with enthusiasm and very tired at the end, these students planted about 500 plants, among laurel, Fayatree, Leontodon filii, Picconia and Azorean Plum Tree, some of the students even got blisters on both hands from grabing the hoe.

These visits aim to show in first hand to these students the work made by SPEA regarding the control of invasive species and then the planting. It should also be noted that some of the plants used in this plantation were pricked by these students.

SPEA thanks the collaboration and the availability of the Basic School of Povoação, which among many activities already pricked about 5000 plants and planted over 1000 in the intervention areas.

The Project's Greenhouse has new tenants

The LIFE Sustainable Laurel Forest Project Greenhouse, located on the road of Lomba do Loução, in Povoação, has 4 new tenants.

The Sustainable Laurel Forest Project technicians found in the middle of the Laurel Laurus azorica, existing in the greenhouse, a nest of Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea with 4 foals that have no more than two days. This is an azorian species and can be seen in virtually all habitats of the Azores, in particular, pastures, streams, forests, among others, showing preference for open habitats and nearby areas with water.

This is not the first time something like this happens, however it is always fantastic to see up close a phenomenon so common in nature. In previous years there was a successfully breeding of this species in the nursery area.

The Project Team welcomes these new members of the Grey Wagtail family and hopes that your stay in our nursery is enjoyable!

The work will continue but will always bear in mind these special occupants so as to minimize the disturbance.