SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, 26 May. (EUROPE PRESS) –
The first edition of the ‘Alien CSI Bioblitz’, a European initiative aimed at promoting greater public awareness of the danger of invasive alien species (IAS) for native biodiversity, was attended by nearly 200 people in the Canary Islands between the days May 20 and 22.
The Archipelago was part of this initiative thanks to the support of the Ministry of Ecological Transition, Fight against Climate Change and Territorial Planning of the Government of the Canary Islands, the IPNA-CSIC and the La Palma Biosphere Reserve.
The population of the islands was able to form part of this project, which included simultaneous actions in eleven European countries, thanks to the RedEXOS app, promoted by the aforementioned regional ministry through the public company Gesplan, and which can be downloaded at any time for free through the iOS and Android platforms.
The head of the Autonomous Department, José Antonio Valbuena, stressed that the Canary Islands “was one of the two Spanish regions that promoted the event and featured more than fifteen activities organized by the 19 collaborating institutions and organisations”. To this high participation were added the reports sent by citizens who joined the initiative in a particular way, since the event was open to the contribution of the entire Canarian population.
“During the three days that the ‘Alien CSI Bioblitz’ lasted, a total of 234 warnings were made of 67 invasive alien species and the common bumblebee (Bombus ruderatus) was the most noted species of fauna while the lantana, the agave, the opuntia, the malephora or the cylindrical cacti were the most cited species of flora”, underlined the counselor.
This first ‘Alien CSI Bioblitz’, sponsored by the action COST CA17122, which is part of the project ‘Increasing the understanding of invasive species through citizen science’, and whose celebration is expected to be held every year, also included the collaboration of the groups Ataja tus Matos, Sinrabodegato La Palma, Colectivo Matorrisco, Spanish Red Cross, the Office of Participation and Environmental Volunteering of Tenerife, La Vinca Ecologistas en Acción, Barrios Verdes, Latitud Azul, Avanfuer, WWF Canarias, Desert Watch and the municipalities of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santa Úrsula and Tacoronte.
All the reports registered in the Archipelago were made through the RedEXOS app and a team of technicians is in charge of classifying it according to its potential danger to the environment, according to a color code called the validator traffic light. “Of all the reports this weekend, 25 have been considered high risk, which means that they pose a serious threat to Canarian biodiversity and, therefore, action will be taken on them soon, while 73 have been considered of moderate risk and the rest of low risk”, highlighted the counselor.
During the week prior to the event, the RedEXOS teams participated in various training actions on various islands of the Archipelago so that citizens could learn how to download the application and report the presence of IAS that threaten the biodiversity of the Archipelago.