(Português) Jornada Técnica sobre Propagação de Espécies Vulneráveis

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(Português) Universidade de Évora e GEOTA unem esforços para restaurar os Habitats naturais na serra de Monchique

Sorry, this entry is only available in European Portuguese.

Technical Workshop at CICYTEX

Next 14th of February, another Technical Workshop will take place, this time related to the Propagation of Vulnerable Species at the Center for Scientific and Technological Research of Extremadura (CICYTEX).

The trainers will be the CICYTEX technicians themselves, namely David Garcia Alonso, Maria José Guerra and Francisco Vasquez Pardo, who will present the germination processes, talk about the care in the development of the plant as well as the hardening and mycorrhization process. Vegetative multiplication will also be addressed in this Technical workshop.

The Technical Workshop will take place at the LA ORDEN Center (CICYTEX), Guadajira, in Badajoz, Spain.
Registration is free but mandatory via email frvazquez50@hotmail.com  or vspp@uevora.pt

Visit to the woodland of Portuguese Laurel in Cabeça

On December 14th (2019), the Life-Relict Project team organized an interpretative visit to the woodland of Portuguese Laurel in Cabeça, Seia county. The activity consisted of a pedestrian walk with about 3km in the surrounding of the Cabeça village and was part of the event program called Cabeça, Christmas village.

For the 30 or so participants, it was possible to stroll along the Loriga stream as well as observe various species of plants that surround this wonderful village, such as this chestnut tree.



During the visit several strategic stops were made in order to present to the participants the objectives of Life-Relict project, the various concrete conservation actions that are taking place in this particular territory and, of course, the Portuguese Laurel (Prunus lusitanica subsp. lusitanica) which is a rare tree native to the Iberian Peninsula, the French Pyrenees and North Africa, considered endangered by the IUCN and the target-species of this Life project



The communities of Portuguese Laurel are favored by the presence of some water and, consequently, for their preservation it is necessary to reestablish the flow rates of levadas, water conduction channels, formerly used in traditional irrigation. This levada (photo below), was in poor condition due to the abandonment of agricultural activity and was recovered by the Life-Relict team being one of the concrete conservation actions for the preservation of the Portuguese Laurel.



Another strategic stop was to explain to participants how the Life-Relict team controlled heliophilic bushes in this area, thus reducing the fuel load and therefore reduce the risk of fire.


Participants could enjoy beautiful, unique and genuine landscapes like these in the images. There was also opportunity to overcome challenges and experience adventures.


Finally, there were still opportunities to take some group photos before finishing the visit to the Portuguese Laurel Woodland, and the participants got together in a magusto in the community oven of the village of Cabeça.



Communication and Dissemination

During november, the Life-Relict project team has been developing communications at congresses and seminars, which are a integral part of the Project’s communication plan and fundamental to the conservation of nature in general and for the conservation of the Continental Laurissilva Relics in particular.


It was in this sense that Life-Relict went to the LIFE Imperial seminar in Castro Verde, to present an oral communication inserted in “Education, Awareness and Communication” Panel. Thus, the main objective was presenting the Project strategy for public awareness and dissemination. Through this seminar, it was possible to establish a network between other Life projects.

Days later, Life-Relict was introduced to students of a secondary school  in Gouveia, as part of the scientific culture week organized by the Gouveia School Group. Through this lecture entitled “Serra da Estrela – Knowing to conserve”, professor Carlos Pinto Gomes, from the University of Évora, coordenator of Life-Relict project, spoke to the students about the climate, geological history, flora and vegetation of Serra da Estrela as well as the main threats to the conservation of rare species, such as Portuguese Laurel, a conservation target of Life-Relict project. The main objective of this action was to raise awareness and environmental education in the school community about the importance of preserving relic species of Continental Laurissilva.


Subsequently, the methodology for the evaluation of ecosystem services in Life-Relict intervention areas was presented at the III Luso-Extremadurian Congress “Science and Technologies” in Évora.

LIFE-Relict Scientific Commission visits intervention areas

On September 11th, the Life-Relict Scientific Committee met for the second time and, over the course of 3 days, visited all intervention areas of the project. The main objective of this visit is based on the relevance of scientific monitoring, not only directed to concrete conservation actions, but also to the pertinence of specialized advice for the implementation of field management measures aimed at the conservation of the Continental Laurissilva relicts at long term.

This Scientific Committee includes several national and international specialists, such as in botany, geobotany and climate change, as well as representatives of public territorial management entities: Carlos Pinto Gomes (Professor at the University of Évora, specialist in vegetation ecology and coordinator of the LIFE- Relict); Sara Del Río (Professor at the University of León, Spain, specialist on the impacts that climate change has on plant communities); Francisco Vazquéz Pardo (Biologist and coordinator of scientific research projects at the Center for Scientific and Technological Investigations of Extremadura); Eusébio Cano (Professor at Jaén University, Spain, specialist in Mediterranean flora and vegetation); Jean Jacques Lazare (PhD Professor at the Center d’Étude et de Conservation des Ressources Végétales and specialist in geobotany); Pedro Ivo (ICNF Technician responsible for Nature and Biodiversity, specialist in flora and focal point of LIFE projects in Portugal); Nuno Fidalgo (Technician in the Municipality of Monchique in the Office of Civil Protection and Forests); Cristina Garcia (Technician at Serra da Estrela Rural Development Association); Artur Costa (Operational Commander of Civil Protection in the Municipality of Seia) and Alexandre Silva (Superior Technician in the Municipality of Seia and specialist in flora of Serra da Estrela). The Scientific Committee visit to the project’s intervention areas and was also accompanied by the Life-Relict team.

The visit to the project areas allowed the Scientific Committee to observe, at various sites, the interventions already implemented in the field, thus creating an opportunity to debate precise ideas and clarify doubts as to how these and other planned interventions will favor the preservation of the Continental Laurissilva Relicts in the long term. It was also useful to clarify specific points of field interventions aimed at reducing significantly  threats, such as selective vegetation control to reduce the risk of fire and the control of invasive alien species. As a result of this visit, it was possible to exchange knowledge and share experiences between the members of the Scientific Committee and the LIFE-Relict team, thus creating an important moment of mutual learning

Visiting Pontic Rhododendron in Serra de Monchique

Visit in ​​Monchique’ area where the actions to improve the conservation status of the effective areas of  Pontic Rhododendron are being implemented


















Explanations of project intervention areas within the Serra de Monchique.

In the shadow of a beautiful pontic rhododendron, the Scientific Committee receives information on the collection and propagation of vegetative material that will be used to increase the area of ​​this habitat in the Serra de Monchique.



















Also in the Serra de Monchique, the area where habitat enhancement actions will be implemented was visited.

The visit to the Mata da Margaraça began by observing the natural regeneration of the burned area in 2017.


















Observation of the natural regeneration of the burned area in 2017 in Mata da Margaraça.

Visit the Portuguese Laurel area that is in the best state of conservation in the Mata da Margaraça.

















Opportunity to exchange knowledge and experience among specialists in Mata da Margaraça

Near the village of Cabeça, in Serra da Estrela, there was an opportunity to learn more about the project’s intervention area.


















Visit to the traditional irrigation levada that was recovered with the objective of restoring the water supply to the existing Portuguese Laurel core.

Professor Conceição Castro was our photographer.


















Group photograph with the Scientific Committee and the project team that work in Serra da Estrela.


However, during this visit it was also possible to observe other singularities of the ecological richness existing in the various areas of intervention of this project, besides the relict species of the Continental Laurissilva. As an example, in Monchique we observed the monchique oak (Quercus canariensis), the samouco (Myrica faya) and some paper flowers exclusive to this mountain (Armeria beirana subsp. Monchiquensis). In the Mata da Margaraça we observed the oak tree (Quercus robur), holly (Ilex aquifolium), hazel tree (Corylus avellana), mountain elm (Ulmus glabra), as well as other plants unique to this place, such as of finch (Linaria triornithophora). In Serra da Estrela, in addition to the lush landscape, it was also possible to observe the harmonious relationship between man and nature.

Environmental Education in Monchique

As the little ones are the future … Life-Relict is also environmental education!


These days, the students of Monchique have been able to learn more about the pontic rhododendron, a biological heritage that belongs to all of us, but is especially to them!


Here, our partners from the Municipality of Monchique at their best!


Technical Meeting – Valorization and Management of Mediterranean Pontic Rhododendron

The Technical Meeting about “Valorization and Management of Mediterranean Pontic Rhododendron” took place on June 6th, 2019 in Vale Largo (Serra de Monchique).

It was attended by the Mayor of Monchique and over 40 people that were interested in learning more about the communities of Rhododendron ponticum subsp. Baeticum.

This day offered the opportunity to follow the work carried out under the Life-Relict project and discuss the main problems related to the conservation of these relict communities.


In the left Professor Carlos Pinto Gomes, Life-Relict Coordinator, in the right Rui André, Mayor of Monchique

Photo group







Pontic Rhododendron



Orvalho holds important repository of Continental Laurissilva

The Life-Relict project raised awareness in the population of Vila de Orvalho (Municipality of Oleiros) and its visitors, about the presence and importance of the Continetal Laurissilva in this location. Here is a refugee of an important nucleus of the Portuguese Laurel (Prunus lusitanica L.) that has survived the fires of recent years.

In this event, the uniqueness of this vegetation type was highlighted and the main management methods were addressed.


Jornada Técnica – Vale Largo (Monchique)

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