Recovery plan of the priority habitat 9560 “Endemic forests with Juniperus spp." in the Biosphere Reserve of the island of Gran Canaria
The restoration of the priority habitat "Endemic forests of Juniperus spp." in the Güigüí Special Nature Reserve will lay the foundations that will allow the Council of Gran Canaria implement recovery measures for this habitat in the southwestern region of the island, to safeguard this important ecosystem and its own species, as well as those depending on them.
Also, the development of these forests will allow both, to safeguard species that are at this moment in critical danger in the island, (as is the case of the cedar), and to protect a large part of the Biosphere Reserve from erosive processes and loss of biodiversity. It will also enrich the Reserve itself as well as the economic possibilities of the local population.
The Life+Guguy project LIFE12NAT/ES/286 objective is to recover the priority habitat 9560* “Endemic forests with Juniperus spp." in the SACs within the Biosphere Reserve of the island of Gran Canaria.
With the C.2 action works will be done on the upper areas of the SAC_57 included in the Natura 2000 network as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC_57 of Güigüí), in concrete at the ridges of Guguy, and with this preparatory action the work zones will be established in the SAC 40_GC Nublo II.
The endemic forests of Juniperus spp. have suffered such a reduction that they have become a priority habitat for the European Commission. In the specific case of Gran Canaria this situation is exacerbated, since the juniper and the cedar have no forest formations as such, but we find isolated individuals or groups of few individuals, being the cedar is for example in a very critical condition in this island since the only natural population features 50 individuals.
The objective of this action is to detect and propose the most suitable SAC 40_GC Nublo II areas that can be restored with the habitat of Juniperus ssp. Likewise, the study will place special emphasis on the restoration of this habitat with the presence of the Canary cedar in order to create new populations outside the SAC_57 of Güigüí, a fact that would ensure the survival of the population of Gran Canaria in case of possible events that could affect the population located in Guguy, as it may be the case of a forest fire.
As a final result, we would obtain a series of locations where we could proceed to reforest with species of this habitat and especially with Canarian cedar from the specimens of the only natural population of Gran Canaria located in Los Cedros Mountain. The execution of this action has a maximum interest for the conservation of the biodiversity of the island of Gran Canaria, since it will ensure the survival of the natural population of Canarian cedar in Gran Canaria and minimizes its possible disappearance by stochastic events.
With the development of this tasks, the zones and methodologies to be implemented in the action C.5 “Execution of the recovery of the priority habitat 9560* “Endemic forests of Juniperus spp.” in the Biosphere Reserve of the island of Gran Canaria” will be established. Furthermore, a more accessible source of seeds will be created. The writing of the report ended in December 2015.