In April 2023, a team from Graciosa’s Environment and Climate Change Service planted 230 specimens of the endemic species Azorean Bellflower (Azorina vidalii) at two locations on the island: 50 specimens at Ponta da Restinga and 180 specimens at Baía dos Homiziados.
The seeds were previously collected on the Praia Islet by the Park Rangers and propagated in the Faial Botanic Garden. The planted specimens were marked with individual identifiers in order to monitor the survival and growth of the plants.
The first monitoring was carried out in July 2023 with mixed results: in Baía dos Homiziados, only 44 % of the plants survived three months after planting, and the living specimens showed little growth, with an average of less than 1 cm.
In contrast, the planting at Ponta da Restinga was very successful, with 96 % of the plants alive and an average growth of 3.6 cm in the first three months. These plantings are part of action C3.2 (In-situ conservation) of the LIFE IP AZORES NATURA project.
The Azorean Bellflower is the only species of the Azorina genus, which is the only representative of the Campanulaceae family among the flora of the Azores, and its conservation status has been assessed as “Unfavourable – Inadequate” for the period 2013-2018, with an estimated population size of 40,000-120,000 individuals, a stable trend.
From now on, regular maintenance and monitoring of this plantation will be carried out by the LIFE IP AZORES NATURA project.