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December 2023
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SPEA is an Environmental not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, by promoting sustainable development for the benefit of future generations.
Home  > The project > Objectives and actions

Objectives and actions

The objectives of LIFE+Lands of Priolo project are:
  • Improve quality of habitat and ensure food resources for the Azores Bullfinch all year;
  • Ensure the stability of Azores Bullfinch population;
  • Raise awareness among local entities and population, involving them in the conservation of the SPA;
  • Promote a sustainable visitation that guarantees the conservation of the SPA in the long term.
For this purpose, the following actions will be developed:

Planning actions: These actions aim to provide information and develop plans and management meassures for the suscesful conservation of SPA Pico da Vara/ Ribeira do Guilherme and the azorean biodiversity.
  • A8 Promotion of actions for the implementation of a comprehensive strategy for the combat of invasive alien flora in the SPA and involved municipalities
  • A11 Review of SPA Pico da Vara/ Ribeira do Guilherme Management Plan
  • D3 Detailed mapping of vegetation in the SPA Pico da Vara/Ribeira do Guilherme and its evolution along time
  • F6 Preparation of a conservation action plan for the species and its habitat after-LIFE
Native Plants production: These actions are essential for the ecological restoration of the habitats, they ensure the availability of plants and seeds of native and endemics species to recover the areas after the removal of invasive species.
  • A1 Improvement of protocols for production of native plants 
  • C1 Production of seeds of herbs and ferns for cliffs restoration. 
  • C2 Production of native species in nursery
  • D1 Monitoring of nursery's production
Creation of a protection ringt: These actions aim to recover the natural habitats in the ridge area of Tronqueira to create a buffer area that prevents the entry of invasive plants
  • C3 Opening of main access to the area for the intervention
  • C4 Invasive species control and recovery of natural forest in the ridge area
Recovery of an altitude gradient of natural forest: These actions aim to identify the best techniques for control of invasive species Pittosporum undulatum and tree ferns Cythaea cooperi e Dicksonia antarctica and ensure the ecological restoration of an altitudinal gradient from 300 to 800 meters, that ensures food availability for priolo for a longer period.
  • A3 Control tests of Pittosporum undulatum in pure spots and big slope areas in the Laurel Forest
  • A4 Evaluation of methods for the control of tree fern species Sphaeropteris cooperi and Dicksonia antarctica in high altitude areas of natural forest
  • A6 Environmental re-qualification project for creation of an altitude gradient of natural vegetation
  • C6 Creation of an altitude gradient of natural vegetation
  • D2 Monitoring of invasive species control and vegetation recovery actions
Recovery of water lines and landslide areas: These inovative actions aim to restore áreas that were not possible to recover to the date because there were no adequate techniques for a safe intervention in steep slope areas. They aim to restore, with climbing and natural engeneering techniques areas of slopes, lanslides and waterlines.
  • A2 Climbing training for works in high slope areas
  • A5 Test of biophysical measures and hydro-seeding for recovery of landslides and water lines
  • C5 Recovery of landslides
  • C7 Recovery of a water line
  • D4 Monitoring of erosion in the water line
Predator's control: These actions aim to evaluate the densities and impact of rodents and weassels in the natural areas and on priority species, such as azores bullfinch. They include the testing of rodent control and prevention techniques in order to identify best practices.
  • A7 Evaluation of Azores Bullfinch nest predation by rodents and weasels
  • C8 Control of rats in the main occurrence area of Azores Bullfinch
  • D5 Monitoring of rodents and weasels in the SPA Pico da Vara/ Ribeira do Guilherme
Evaluation of new threats: These actions aim to evaluate and prevent new threats in the area, namely the presence of introduce species able to hybridize with netive ones, and the establishment of an early detection system for new invasives.
  • A9 Research of hybrids of laurel and holy tree in the SPA and surrounding area
  • D7 Implementation of an early detection system for new potentially invasive species and invasion areas in the SPA Pico da Vara/Ribeira do Guilherme
Public use management: These actions aim to evaluate the impact, both positive and negative, of visitation in the SPA Pico da Vara/ Ribeira do Guilherme and propose management solutions for a more sustainable visitation.
  • A10 Visitors characterization and evaluation of public use in the SPA Pico da Vara/ Ribeira do Guilherme
  • D8 Monitoring of use and impacts on pedestrian trails
  • E3 Development of resources for improving visitation in the SPA
  • E4 Disclosure of the SPA Pico da Vara/ Ribeira do Guilherme and its natural values and promotion of sustainable tourism in the Lands of Priolo
Raise awareness of local population and visitors: These actions aim to promote knowledge and awareness of local population and visitors about the natural values of the SPA and best visitation practices in order to enjoy the area without impact. 
  • E1 Development of an activities program for local population about conservation actions in the SPA
  • E2 Development of a school program adapted to all educational levels with information about conservation actions and their importance
  • D9 Evaluation of awareness raising activities impact
General monitoring of the project: These actions aim to monitor all the previous actions in order to ensure the positive effects of the interventions, allowing, if necessary to modify the actions to ensure the best outcomes.
  • D2 Monitoring of invasive species control and vegetation recovery actions
  • D6 Monitoring of Azores Bullfinch population
  • D10 Evaluation of socio-economic impact of the project


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