Ciència ciutadana al Cap de Creus
Last October 15th two botanical tours were conducted by Arnau Bosch and Neus Ibáñez in Cap de Creus; the first in the morning on Punta de s’Alqueria, and the other in the evening near Badia de Guillola.
The morning tour was organized by the LIFE medcliffs project and coordinated by the Botanical Institute of Barcelona. The main objective of this project, which started on October 2021, is to study the invasive alien flora at the Costa Brava cliffs and how it affects to their endemic plants. Those are two species of limonium (Limonium tremolsii, near-threatened, and L. geronense, vulnerable) and Seseli farrenyi (endangered) (following the IUCN categories).
Citizen science is an important part of this project; by creating two support networks (observers and volunteers) it aims for collecting data from invasive species around the area and, with some of them to map their invasion risk in order to foresee how their populations could grow in the future.
The 15th October tour has been the first one on field for the project volunteers (16 participants), where they were taught how to do the population tracking for the 33 invasive plants within the study area for the next 5 years that the project will last. Their task is to study the populations of those species in one or more transects (1 km transects were defined around all Costa Brava) and to provide annual data through the iNaturalist project “LIFE medCLIFFS – Xarxa de voluntaris”.
Along the tour they went across the N24 transect, and 11 invasive species and some Limonium geronense specimens were observed. Data included within the iNaturalist form were: transect code, individuals number, presence of reproductive adults, vegetative adults, coverage area and the presence of the cochineal Dactylopius opuntiae (this affects to Opuntia, and they are being used in the project as biologic control for those plants). All of those volunteers are currently taking the invasive plants course imparted by the Associació Flora Catalana (which is one of the LIFE medCLIFFS project’s members) and, once they finish the course and the field tours, they will be ready to start taking data from their transects.
On the other hand, the evening tour, near Cala Guillola was organized within the First Bioblitz in the Natural Park of Cap de Creus, due to the CCAW (Cap de Creus Autumn Weekend, an intensive bird ringing weekend within the park). A Bioblitz is a kind of citizen science activity where the main objective is to survey species and taking a picture of the current biodiversity in a specific area. At this Bioblitz, organized by the Natural Park of Cap de Creus, EmpordaiNat and IAEDEN, and with the collaboration of the Botanical Institute of Barcelona (among others), all data from the event-specific-iNaturalist-project have been gathered from all the Natural Park of Cap de Creus. Workshops for birds, bees and other pollinator insects, butterflies, arachnids, reptiles, orthopters, flora mammals, amphibia and moths were conducted. The flora tour carried out by Arnau Bosch and Neus Ibáñez was made from 17h to 18.30h, it had 23 participants and allowed to register 110 observations (from an overall of 362 within the Bioblitz) of 65 species (30,09% of all of the project ones).