Our LIFE IP AZORES NATURA partner, La Palma Biosphere Reserve, has been busy with the invasion of Sticky Groundsel (Senecio viscosus) that has grown vigorously with the warm temperatures. Thousands of small seedlings are germinating and the LIFE IP Azores Natura team works against the clock to remove them before they bloom. It is a painstaking job, down on all fours, which also requires to avoid any damage to the neighbouring endemic species: Viola palmensis, Descurainia gilva, Lactuca palmensis, etc.
The photo shows a Senecio seedling (left), side by side with a young Lactuca (right). The latter has been very visibly eaten by wild rabbits, which nevertheless seem to ignore the less palatable invader. Yet another reason to lend a hand to our biodiversity.