By John Smith • 06 April 2021 • 11:26
THE ‘Prats Nets d’Invasores’ project aimed at the elimination of nine invasive species in the main wetlands of the Balearic Islands at a cost of €332,210 has been completed.
The aim was to control the populations of these species and prevent their spread and the work, carried out by COFIB staff under the coordination of the Species Protection Service, lasted two years and was funded by money from the Sustainable Tourism Tax (ITS).
This project has eliminated four tons of carp, almost 200 specimens of Florida turtles and 1,150 American blue crab.
Invasive plant species that endanger native flora have also been eliminated thus, more than 12,000 agaves, 2,170 prickly pears, 913 Pampas herbs, 16,850 m² of grass, 6,600 m² of fountain grass have been removed as well as 1,266 m² of ground creepers (Carpobrotus edulis).
Many of the invasive have been seeded from private gardens near specific localities so that in the Ses Salines Natural Park, work has been done mainly with Kalanchoe, an herbaceous plant with red flowers.
In the Albufera de Mallorca the predominant invaders have been pampas grass as well as carp and the Florida turtle whilst in the Albufera des Grau, the work has focused on the Illot d’en Mell where the prickly pear tree abounded.
Invasive species are the main cause of biodiversity loss in the Balearic Islands, hence the importance of controlling them, especially in areas of high ecological value and especially sensitive areas such as wetlands.
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Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.
Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.
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