Re: [aroid-l] Dracunculus canariensis
- Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Dracunculus canariensis
- From: Bjørn Malkmus email@example.com
- Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002 11:21:24 +0200 (MEST)
> Thank you Bjorn & Sean for revealing the present occurence of Dracunculus
> canariensis, one of the two "Dragon Arums" & some data of it in the wild.
> As Deni Bown writes on page 133 (Aroids - Plants of the Arum Family) the
> IUCN Red Book stated that in 1997 it was vulnerable.
> Although I have no such interest in the genus with any
> other interested folks later in the year I might be
> enthusiastic to look for the species & other flora & fauna in Islas
> Canarias to see the current situation & if necessary obtain material of
> I do not know what present floral & faunal conservation efforts are in the
> now intensively exploited "tourist" Islands.
The Botanic Garden in Las Palmas "Viera y Clavijo", on the island of Gran
Canaria fortunately holds a seedbank of almost all endangered and threatend
Canary endemics. On the other hand the garden itself hosts large ex-situ
plantations of endemics and runs some propagation programs of several endangered
species for a later reintroduction. A visit to this beautifully located and
well-arranged garden is highly recommended and you will need some 2 entire days
to see all ...
Besides that there are several protected areas (ranging from national parks
to protected landsides) with special scientific interest on each island, but
this does not mean much as these areas are controlled insufficiently (if at
all ?) by local authorities...
> So - It is wonderful to have alerts of where vulnerable wild species are
> so that they can be most responsibly collected & saved for posterity
> extinction of habitat.
Even local protection measurements may have some fatal effects on
populations. For example one major population I knew of Dracunulus canariensis was
located in the natural reserve of the Teno region in the northwest of Tenerife,
in the valley above the village Los Silos at some 500m. This nowadays
protected area had once been used for gardening and cultivation of vegetables. The
soil in this valley at this altitudes is very rich and it was an ideal site for
Dracunulus canariensis growing in abundance in open spots at the border of
terraced gardens. Due to the new imposed protection scheme gardens are now
completely abondoned and flora reconquered gardens rapidly, but the local flora
as one may guess. Within less than three years the whole site is now densely
covered with several Rubus spec., so that on my last visit in August this
year I dind't find a single specimen of Dracunulus canariensis anymore, the
whole population had been eradicated there by thickets of Rubus ...
It makes one very sad to see how fast things can change on these beatiful
islands and that even protection measurements do not always have the desired
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