Palm-grove habitat restoration

Concrete Conservation Actions for Phoenix Palm Groves

The habitat restoration strategy will follow the priorities set out in detail in the Palm Grove Management Plan (T.2.3) and will include at least the following activities:

  • Specific forest management interventions in target palm groves of both regions: techniques designed for this particular habitat will be applied to facilitate their natural expansion and vegetative vigour: trimming of palm trees focused on their revitalisation (with phytosanitary protocols, if necessary, to avoid pests or diseases); elimination of dead specimens, dead wood and invasive plants, generating clearings that favour the expansion and revitalisation of the palm grove; reuse of part of the plant waste generated as mulch, favouring soil improvement.
  • Reduction of hybridisation in target palm groves of Gran Canaria: this activity will be based on the conclusions of the genetic studies carried out during the preparatory task T.2.2. Critical conservation areas will be established for those core palm groves with proven genetic purity. Within these areas and in their surroundings, the selective removal of hybrid specimens and allochthonous palms (at least 50% of the specimens detected) will be carried out, following a specific plant waste management protocol. The expected final reduction of hybridisation (estimated at 50%) will be achieved thanks to the combined action of eliminating hybrids and allochthonous palms and reforesting with endemic palms of high genetic quality.
  • Reduction of hybridisation in target palm groves of Crete: hybridisation in Crete was detected mainly due to the existence of specimens of Phoenix dactylifera and Phoenix canariensis. This activity will be based on the conclusions of the genetic studies carried out during preparatory task T.2.2. Priority areas will be identified and a pilot removal of hybrid and non-native palms will be carried out within and around them.
  • Reforestation with endemic Phoenix palms and other keystone species in both regions: priority will be given to the rapid reforestation of areas previously cleared of invasive alien species, in order to prevent their recolonisation. In total, some 30,000 plants will be planted between Gran Canaria and Crete, including specimens of Phoenix and other keystone species characteristic of this habitat in each of the two biogeographical regions. This activity will cover the total project intervention area (72.3 Ha) and will benefit from the results of the endemic palm production line (T.3.5), which will also provide plants after the end of LIFE Phoenix to reinforce reforestation in the project's SACs and other Natura 2000 sites.

Action status

It reflects the percentage of work done since the beginning of the action.