C1. Elimination of the pampas grass in the Protected Natural Spaces of Cantabria
The action consists of eradicating by mechanical means specimens of the pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) in the protected natural spaces of the Natura 2000 Network located on the Cantabrian coast and restoring the areas in which work has been carried out to encourage the regeneration of the potential vegetation and accelerate naturalisation, following the priorities established in the pampas grass Action Plan. In order to do so we have three teams of forestry workers belonging to the members AMICA, AMPROS, and SERCA respectively.
To be precise work is being carried out in the following Special Protection Areas (SPAs):
• Dunas de Liencres y estuarios del río Pas (ES1300004)
• Río Agüera (ES1300012)
• Marismas de Santoña, Victoria y Joyel (ES1300007)
• Rías occidentales y dunas de Oyambre (ES1300003)
• Dunas del Puntal y Estuario del Miera (ES1300005)
• Costa Central y Ría de Ajo (ES1300006)
Apoyo mecanizado a las labores de la cuadrilla en zonas de alta densidad de plumero
Apoyo mecanizado a las labores de la cuadrilla en zonas de fuerte pendiente
Cuadrilla del proyecto arrancando plumero
C2. Controlling the expansion of the species in Cantabria
The action consists of eradicating by mechanical means pioneering, isolated, or scattered masses of specimens of the pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) in areas forming its peripheral area of distribution, which is mainly located in the southern sector of the region of Cantabria, with the aim of containing the invasive population within limits and avoiding its spreading to areas still free from the species. And the restoration of areas in which work is been carried out to encourage the regeneration of the potential vegetation and accelerate naturalisation. In order to do so we have three teams of forestry workers belonging to the members AMICA, AMPROS, and SERCA respectively.
Mapa de acciones de conservación en Cantabria
C3. Tests of innovative methodologies and materials for the eradication and control of the pampas grass
The pampas grass is a very harmful invasive species with a great capacity of establishment on degraded terrain. The study of techniques of the management and elimination of the species is essential and because of this four pilot techniques have been designed for implementation in five areas affected by the pampas grass on the Cantabrian coast. These techniques are as follows:
1. Hydroseeding and mulch of autochthonous species
The test consists of hydroseeding with different autochthonous species with the aim of being able to monitor the subsequent behaviour of the pampas grass after restoration. The various species are sown in areas which have been divided and delimited so as to allow subsequent study and assessment. Among the species selected the following stand out: gorse (Ulex europaeus) and the thornless blackberry (Rubus ulmifolius) for their colonising nature together with other species of grasses, caespitose plants, and creeping plants of autochthonous origin.
La Cantera y humedales de Cuchia es una de las zonas de ensayo prevista
2. Directed grazing
After clearing the pilot plot a mixed flock of sheep and goats is introduced with different livestock densities and selecting preferably red-faced and black.-faced sheep of the Carranzana breed, both of which are from the local area and in danger of extinction. In this way it will be possible to assess the role of small livestock in the control and eradication of the pampas grass.
Rebaño de oveja carranzana con pastor
3. Use of technosols
This test consists of assessing various technosols or in other words a soil designed based on natural soils and at least 20% in weight or volume of non dangerous waste so as to encourage the circular economy. These soils are designed for a specific purpose, which is in this case the control of the pampas grass; with time they evolve in a similar manner to the natural soils of the area.
4. Assessment of livestock handling
This test has two parts; in one area frequent mowing is carried out at different cutting heights so as to encourage the growth of autochthonous grasses to the detriment of the pampas grass. In the other area the composition of the soil is improved by including various fertilisers of animal and plant origin so as to be able to assess which fertiliser encourages to the greatest extent autochthonous grasses rather than the pampas grass on plots used by livestock.
C4. Early Alert and Rapid Response Network
This action includes the setting up of a web platform and a mobile application on which are compiled the records of the location of specimens of the pampas grass in those municipalities defined as free from this species or with isolated or scattered presence in the Pampas Grass Plan of Action for Cantabria. This platform is accessible to the public and the awareness actions of the LIFE project are responsible for informing the population of the platform with the aim of increasing the number of volunteers and participants on the early alert network. The pampas grass sites recorded are included in the elimination work anticipated in Action C2. In addition to in Cantabria, the early alert network will also be established in northwest Portugal, where it has the support of the Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas (ICNF).
All the data provided by the Stop Cortaderia Early Alert Network are shared with the European Alien Species Information Network (EASIN).
Cantabrian municitalities free of pampas grass
Isolated pampas grass