Preparatory operations for the re-introduction of Silene velutina Loisel on the islet of Cornuta, Corsica

16 October 2017

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Silene velutina is an endemic species of Corsica and Sardinia, present in the archipelago Maddalena in Sardinia and in the west and south of Corsica. In Corsica, it is also found both on the island coast and on the islets, in the cracks of the rocks and on soft substrates. One of the populations on the Cornuta islet (Zonza commune) disappeared in the early 2000s, due to the impact of breeding birds and the competition from other plants (Lavatera arborea L.). In an attempt to reintroduce the species to this islet, an operation was scheduled within the framework of the CARE-MEDIFLORA project.


Silene velutina (Photos: CBNC)

In situ actions at Cornuta islet (Photo: CBNC)


The islet is located in a Natura 2000 site. It is managed by the Regional Conservatory of the sites of Corsica (CEN).

On October 6th, CBNC, CEN, as well as 12 students from the agricultural college of Sartene and their teacher went to the islet to carry out the preparatory works for the re-introduction of Silene velutina. The boat used for the transport of people and equipment was made available to the team by the Municipality of Zonza. Six (6) plots of approximately 20 m2 each were demarcated and 6 cages of 2 m2 each were set up in order to host the future plantings and seedlings. The green waste was evacuated by boat and recovered by the communal agents to be transported to the waste disposal center to be destroyed.

This operation is a good example of the involvement of all the local actors in an action to conserve the threatened flora of the island. Moreover, it was an opportunity, involving the students, to train the future managers of natural spaces.

The stages preceding the re-introduction operation are completed (demarcation, assembly of the cages). Plants and seedlings will be transported to the islet in November after the first rains, according to a protocol that will be presented in a future article.



Removal of green waste (Photos: CBNC)




Setting up of cages (Photos: CBNC)


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MAVA Foundation

Mediterranean Plant Specialist Group (IUCN/SSC) Sóller Botanical Garden Foundation, Balearic Islands Office of the Environment of Corsica - National Botanical Academy of Corsica Hortus Botanicus Karalitanus, Sardinia University of Catania, Sicily Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Crete Agricultural Research Institute, Cyprus Department of Forests, Cyprus