Controlling invasive species in wetland areas on the Balearic Islands

Situation October 2019

As a continuation of the actions outlined in the “PNI 2017-071” project, financed by the sustainable tourism tax, removal of the following flora species from S’Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park was ongoing throughout the summer of 2019:

Buffalo grass (Stenotaphrum secundatum) and kikuyu grass (Pennisetum clandestinum) from S’Oberta Dunes, with a total extracted area of 1,095 m2. Checks of the area will have to continue to completely remove the grass as it regerminates from rhizomes that may have been left under the sand and from the soil seed bank.

Work was also performed in two areas of the park where the grass covered an area of about 800 m2.

It was mainly removed manually using hoes, and the extracted material was taken to the nearest recycling centre for green waste.

Other species removed during the summer were: a small plot of Hottentot-fig or ice plant (Carpobrotus spp.), ten California fan palm trunks (Washingtonia filifera), two evergreen tree trunks (Myoporum tenuifolium), one Japanese pittosporum trunk (Pittosporum tobira), one wild sage shrub (Lantana cámara) and 11 yucca specimens (Yucca spp.).

They were all removed manually using hoes. The area will be monitored to ensure that the removed plants do not grow back.

We are currently working on a plot with a high density of pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana). As it is privately owned, we had to ask the owner for permission to remove it. So far, we have already cut the inflorescence of over 100 stems to prevent the seed from spreading. Since it is close to wetlands, the risk of invasion is high. Given its structure, it could change the habitat by colonising open spaces and establishing itself as the dominant species.

Técnico eliminando grama


As far as fauna is concerned, to date we have removed 2,014 kg of common carp (Cyprinus carpio); 72 pond sliders (Trachemys scripta sp.); and 440 blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) from S’Albufera de Mallorca Natural Park.

Ejemplares de carpaTortuga de FloridaCangrejo azul

The islands of Ibiza and Formentera were visited in July to survey the areas where work will be performed this autumn and winter in the Natural Park of Ses Salinas of Ibiza and Formentera. S’Albufera des Grau Natural Park in Menorca was also visited to plan the removal of prickly pear from the islet of Mell, planned for November.

The actions form part of the “Invader-free Meadows, Control of Invasive Species in Wetland Areas on the Balearic Islands” project, financed by the sustainable tourism tax and coordinated by COFIB (Consortium for the Recovery of Balearic Island Fauna) under the management of the Species Protection Department of the Directorate General of Natural Spaces and Biodiversity.