On January 19, a team from Santa Maria Environment and Climate Change Service went to the Ilhéu da Vila to continue working on removing the invasive alien species 𝘛𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘢 𝘵𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘴 and its seeds deposited in the soil.
This work was carried out in an area of a size proportional to the number of plants available for planting this Spring, which is currently in production at the Faial Botanic Garden.
It was verified that the previous actions of weed removal had overexposed the soil, leading to soil erosion, the team built palisades to reduce erosion, sustain the soil and favour direct sowing and planting, which is intended to be done soon. It was also verified that the native species Spergularia azorica, Azorean Lotus (𝘓𝘰𝘵𝘶𝘴 𝘢𝘻𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘢) and Buck’s-horn Plantain (𝘗𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘱𝘶𝘴) are abundantly sprouting.
During this field trip, 203 seabirds’ nests were also monitored, including the artificial nests installed in July 2021 under the LIFE IP AZORES NATURA project, to assess the reproductive success of the Madeiran Storm-petrel (𝘏𝘺𝘥𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰). Given that the weather conditions did not allow the work to be carried out earlier, this monitoring was carried out late, so many empty nests were found, but with signs of occupation, and, likely, the brood has already left the nest. Nine Madeiran Storm-petrel broods and one egg of Barolo Shearwater (𝘗𝘶𝘧𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘶𝘴 𝘭𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘪) were identified. We also identified eight nests with non-viable eggs, two dead adults and evidence of predation.