lifeBiodiscoveries - Invasive species control through public participation

LIFE13 BIO/PT/000386

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Contact details:

Contact person: Ctia Isabel DOS SANTOS CORREIA
Tel: 351212068071
Email: catia.correia@cm-barreiro.pt

Project description:


Following a decision by the municipality of Barreiro to create a local protected area for the Machada forest and Coina marshes, surveys of flora and vegetation were carried out. These identified the need to protect the native woods of Machada, including the plant species Euphorbia uliginosa that is under threat from the spread of various invasive acia species. In the surrounding marsh areas the less aggressive, ice plants (Carpobrotus edulis (L.)) also posed a threat to native vegetation.


The project is aiming to develop an alternative to the traditional models of invasive species control, combining a public component and strong support for volunteering. It also aims to take into account the experiences gained from other LIFE projects targeting invasive species control.

Specifically, it aims to show through its management model based on public participation that it is possible to achieve a better cost/benefit ratio, in terms of the allocation of resources and environmental impact, and also in terms of the social involvement in the control of invasive species.

As well as improving biodiversity, an important aspect of the project will be a strong dissemination campaign.

Expected results: The main expected result will be a social dynamic created by mobilising volunteers. It is expected that this will help to ensure the future sustainable management of the protected area.

It is also expected that the existing areas of marshland with their high biodiversity value will be better protected from scarcity of water by the elimination of competing, alien species from target patches.

The main quantifiable expected results will include:

  • Control of invasive species on 75 ha of Machada forest;
  • Use of grazing to control invasive plants during the three final years of the project on an area of 10 ha;
  • ‘Adoption’ of the more mature areas of native vegetation for management by groups of volunteers with the aim of creating mature cork oak woods in the future;
  • Analysis of the impact of the various volunteer actions – including levels and types of action for each type of group and continued capacities;
  • ‘Adoption’, improvement and protection of all the humid habitats with Ulex minor, Molinia caerulea and Erica ciliaris; and with Cheirolophus uliginosus, Pinguicula lusitanica, Erica erigena, Fuirena pubescens and Juncus rugosus;
  • Improvement or construction of 10 Km of nature trails;
  • Monitoring studies on the conservation measures; and
  • Numerous actions and activities to disseminate the outcomes, addressed at local stakeholders and the general public.



Environmental issues addressed:


Habitats - Forests
Biodiversity issues - Invasive species


voluntary work‚  forest ecosystem‚  protected area‚  social participation

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Camara Municipal do Barreiro
Type of organisation Local authority
Description The Câmara Municipal do Barreiro (CMB) is the public authority responsible for the administration of the municipality of Barreiro in Portugal. Its responsibilities cover land management, public participation and promotion of the district’s cultural and natural heritage. Development work in the fields of environment and sustainability include actions organised by the Centre for Environmental Education (CEA) targeting the Machada national forest and Coina marshes (the project area).
Partners None


Project reference LIFE13 BIO/PT/000386
Duration 01-JUL-2014 to 01-JUL -2020
Total budget 1,322,947.00 €
EU contribution 661,473.00 €
Project location Lisboa e vale do Tejo(Portugal)


Read more:

Newsletter Newsletter #1 - Fevereiro 2015
Newsletter Newsletter #2 - Março 2015
Project web site Project's website
Project web site - 2 Project's Facebook page


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version