REINSTATEMENT OF DUNE HABITATS IN THE GREENHOUSE LANDSCAPE OF THE GULF OF GELA FOR THE PROTECTION OF LEOPOLDIA GUSSONEI
Muscari gussonei (Parl.) Nyman usually known as Leopoldia (or Leopoldia gussonei Parl.) is an endemic species of Sicily, especially of the Camarino – Pachino floricultural district.
At the moment it’s possible to find Leopoldia in Cava Randello, Macconi of Gela and in the Ippari Valley, but its conservation is seriously threatened by various factors. For this reason it’s been included among the priority species to be protected.
The most important menace for its preservation is man with his agricultural activities, which are out of the local authorities’ control: in the majority of cases, they are cultivations in illegal greenhouses. This situation is worsened by unauthorized pastures, coastal erosion, the presence of other exotic invasive species hindering its growth, and the irresponsible use of coasts for tourism.
With this Project we aim to eliminate these threatening factors, or at least to reduce them, through concrete protective actions. Most importantly, we aim to provide information, in order to make the local population aware of the importance of biodiversity and protection of local environmental resources.
Our Project especially aims to:
- Preserve areas in which Leopoldia gussonei lives and find others which could be suitable, through a reorganization of the State territorial boundaries, through seeding, growth in nursery, planting and monitoring of the species.
- Reduce the effects of agricultural activities and create conditions for the coexistence of agriculture and conservation of Leopoldia. This will be accomplished through the purchase of a lot for protected cultivations, in order to make a model of it.
- Propose a new model of sustainable social-economical development through the promotion of knowledge about local natural resources and of sustainable agriculture, with disclosure activities among local operators and at schools.
The Project lasts 42 months (from 10/01/2012 to 04/30/2016) and disposes of a total budget of 1.415.752 €, 707.757 € of which (50%), deriving from a Contribution of the European Commission.