Mitigation of direct anthropic impacts (overgrazing and visitor pressure) in Crete.

Concrete Conservation Actions for Phoenix Palm Groves

This task aims to address the direct anthropic pressures in Crete and, more specifically, a continued overgrazing in recent years and a very high visitor pressure. Both circumstances are preventing the palm groves from maintaining and expanding naturally, and imply important limitations for their correct ecological functioning in the long term. The following activities are planned to reverse the situation:

  • Implementation of updated grazing management measures: these will be part of the Palm Grove Management Plan for Crete (T.2.3) and will be implemented during the project in the 6 target SACs, including: fencing of palm groves to prevent livestock incursion, zoning of adjacent areas according to their carrying capacity, and redistribution of the livestock activity with involved stakeholders. Pilot measures related to fire prevention (T.3.2) are also foreseen, such as the maintenance of firebreaks and the creation of buffer zones around the palm groves through extensive grazing. Adaptive management will be encouraged through regular monitoring of all measures implemented.
  • Reinforced fencing of natural palm groves: although most of the palm groves in Crete have been fenced in the past for public use planning, this measure will be reinforced to control grazing and visitor pressure by repairing the entire perimeters and installing new sections where necessary. With this new action it is planned to repair or reinstall at least 5.5 km of fencing.
  • Creation of basic visitor infrastructure: Measures to control visitor pressure will follow the findings and recommendations of the Palm Grove Management Plan for Crete (T.2.3). These will include the creation of basic infrastructure (footpaths, walkways, information boards, waste collection points, etc.) to improve visitor use in these areas. It is planned to improve or create at least 1,000 m of footpaths, install 8 information boards and refurbish 2 waste collection points.

Action status

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