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Ponta Delgada ,  July 15, 2019

LIFE BEETLES is the new European nature conservation project approved for the Azores

The Regional Secretary for Energy, Environment and Tourism announced the recent approval of another LIFE project for the Azores, LIFE BEETLES - Reducing environmental and ecological risks to endangered species.
Marta Guerreiro spoke in Ponta Delgada at the signing of an agreement for the preparation of the Regional Strategy for Control and Prevention of Exotic and Invasive Species. On the occasion, she stressed that this is "an overall investment of 1.76 million Euros coordinated by the Regional Directorate for the Environment for a five-year period.
The Secretary for the Environment explained that the implementation of the project will begin on January 1, 2020, covering 3 islands: Terceira, Pico and Flores.
According to the government official, LIFE BEETLES "has as its main goal the growth of populations and distribution areas as well as the improvement of the conservation status of the wild populations of three endemic beetles (Tarphius floresensis, Pseudanchomenus aptinoides and Trechus terrabravensis). These species are considered critically endangered due to habitat loss as a result of the land use and the impact arising from the proliferation of invasive species."
The works will include a series of pilot and demonstration actions to ensure increased and improved habitat quality as well as pilot trials with nature-based solutions to improve micro-climatic conditions.
The project also includes a technical dissemination component, including other public authorities from Macaronesia (Madeira and the Canary Islands) with which the Regional Directorate for the Environment already cooperates. Moreover, it includes awareness-raising initiatives for schools and the public in general, involving the community in conservation actions, through volunteering.
Currently two European Union LIFE projects are under way in the Azores: LIFE Vidalia and LIFE Azores Natura with the aim of increasing this conservation effort.
The LIFE VIDALIA - Recovery and Innovation programme has been implemented since July 2018 and is directed to the Azorina Vidalii and Lotus Azoricus species. It has contributed to the conservation of these two species from our endemic flora, representing an overall investment of nearly 1.8 million Euros for a five-year period. The works are taking place on the islands of Pico, Faial and São Jorge, which cover all the Natura 2000 sites on these islands.
In turn, the LIFE Azores Natura has been implemented since the beginning of this year, corresponding to an overall investment of 19.1 million Euros over the next 9 years that covers most of the Natura 2000 sites in the Azores. This initiative intends to provide a significant contribution to the conservation of species and habitats protected by the Birds and Habitats Directives in terrestrial and marine ecosystems o the entire archipelago.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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