Alien species: training courses and field activities

Until April 6, the headquarters of the Tavolara Marine Protected Area are hosting a European Training School on the monitoring and assessment of the impact of invasive alien species in protected areas. The course – which is supported by the COST Action TD1209 Alien Challenge (2013-2017) European project – whose goals include the training of researchers and managers in the field of biological invasions – is promoted and organized by the Tavolara Marine Protected Area, the University of Sassari, and NEMO srl. The school’s five Italian and foreign docents will use lectures and field activities to train 20 participants from throughout Europe on how to manage invasive plant and animal species on islands. The students and docents will visit Pittulongu beach and the salt pans, where some of the dunes have been freed of Carpobrotus thanks to the LIFE + Puffinus Tavolara project. Carpobrotus is a South African plant that was introduced as a garden ornamental starting in the 1960s. It is highly invasive and can crowd out native species.

The course will receive valuable input from KEITH SPRINGER and PETE Mc CLELLAND, experts from New Zealand who directed two major rodent eradication efforts on islands twenty times the size of Tavolara. Thanks to field activities on Tavolara, which hosts the world’s largest breeding population of Yelkouan Shearwater, the two experts will make useful suggestions on how to improve the rat eradication effort that is part of the    LIFE + Puffinus Tavolara project, managed by the Marine Protected Area together with the Municipality of Olbia.

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