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  • Writer's pictureAtlantic Naturalist

Habitat Restoration | Endemic replanting of Monte das Moças, Faial Island

Updated: Nov 4, 2020

The Atlantic Naturalist team is coordinating the reforestation of a natural area in the vicinity of the city of Horta, Faial Island, Azores, Portugal.

The Monte das Moças comprises over 10,000²m owned by several private individuals, private and public entities. A great portion is open ground which is heavily covered by invasive plants, particularly Cannes, Arundo donax.

Several have agreed to participate on this project, and they are key elements on it's sucess.

The main founder of this project is the Naturalist, Lda. as to compensate Carbon emissions from its touristic activities.



Project outline and identification of property owners


First trimester

Meeting with Arq. Cláudia Ávila Gomes for brainstorm on project, possible routes and plant reposition techniques.

1st and 2nd trimester

Initial meetings with important stakeholders/property owners

Visits to the terrain with owners and the Arquitect

Meeting with Parque Natural do Faial, the Director Eng. João Melo.

Contacts with the Botanical Garden of Faial Island, Pedro Casimiro.

All contacts had positive responses, either from private property owners as with Institutions contacted for involvement an support.

4rd trimester

Project presentation with Horta Mayor, Dr. José Leonardo. The meeting was a success and the idea very welcomed by the Mayor, showing availability for collaboration.


3rd trimester

08/2019 Meeting with Arq. Claudia Avila Gomes to produce Guidelines for replanting.


First Seeds are planted by a group of recent donators to Atlantic Naturalists!

The Event occurred just after an ocean expedition with the collaboration of several children.

Picconia azorica was the endemic tree chosen to be planted first, to replace the thousands of exotic plants that now covering large portions in the Monte da Senhora, in Horta.

These shall be transplanted in the spring of 2020 just in time to have enough rain and creat roots before the summer arrives.


4rd trimester On the 2 to the 3rd of October 2019 Lorenzo hurricane category 4 hit the south of Faial Islands with swell up to 12m and winds reaching 160km/h, creating an enourmous saline pressure on all coastal plants, both in situ as those being cultivated. This also affected locations where these are grown before replanting, putting the botanical terrestrial ecosystem on hold for a few months.


4rd Semester

After an abnormal year with a pandemic stand-by for a great majority of people, but not for plants, the project is back on track. A few comunications with local private owners as kept the project alive.

The Regional Forest Services have a several Myrica faia and a few Picconia azorica. These will be planted in situ this winter 2020/2021


Following meeting with townhall Mayor José Leonardo presenting the status of the project

Meeting with Mr. Bagaço, local president of the Parish and a ver motivated person towards the use of the Cabeço das Moças for everyone in town.

Below and image of the endemic Picconia azorica flowering.

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