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SPA Pico da Vara/ Ribeira do Guilherme

 

The projects LIFE Priolo (2003-2008) and LIFE Sustainable Laurel Forest (2009-2013) took place in the SPA Pico da Vara/ Ribeira do Guilherme, which includes the Nature Reserve of Pico da Vara and the Habitats / Species Management Area of Tronqueira and Planalto dos Graminhais. The first aimed to preserve the Laurel Forest throug the promotion and definition of measures to preserve the Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina). The second contributed to the preservation of priority habitats, such as the peat lands of the Graminhais Plateau.

The intervention areas of the LIFE Sustainable Laurel Forest Project were chosen in order to stop the degradation process of the main natural habitats found in the Protected Areas.

Some examples of conservation achievements on the intervention area are:

    • The restoration of 275 ha of Laurel Forest with good ratio of recovery and low taxes of reinvasion; 
    • The downgrading of the Azores Bullfinch (Pyrrhula murina) risk status, according to the IUCN from “Critically endangered” to “Endangered”; 
    • Recovery of almost extinct species that currently show good reproduction taxes in the nurseries, as it is the case of the Azores Plum (Prunus azorica).

The outcomes of  these projects are promising and encourage the implementation of a nature conservation strategy in the area that, despite the difficulties, will help preserve this important natural reservoir of the island of São Miguel and, of course, of the Azores.

Currently, a new project has been launched that aims to improve the conservation actions mentioned above, reaching less accessible areas and promoting their sustainable visit: The LIFE - Lands of Priolo project (2013 - 2018).

Intervention areas that can be visited:

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