"Temporary Ponds: a natural habitat to be protected!"


> Project progress

During the LIFE Charcos Project and up until now, it was implemented the following actions:

  • Prospection of ponds throughout all the territory of the Site of Community Importance (SCI) of the Portuguese Southwest Coast. It was verified in the field 467 potential locations of ponds.
  • Identification and register of 133 sites with the Priority Habitat 3170 (Mediterranean Temporary ponds) inside the SCI.
  • Assessment of the main biological groups associated with the habitat: flora and vegetation, large branchiopods, amphibians, reptiles, micro mammals, bats and birds. It was carried out a qualitative assessment in 89 ponds and a quantitative assessment in 38 ponds. It was also assessed the physical and chemistry characteristics of soils and water.
  • Compilation in a database of the existing literature such as scientific publications, technical reports, development plans, academic work, among others, with a total of 753 bibliographic references.
  • Conclusion of the assessment for the reference situation on the conservation status of the temporary ponds. A final report was prepared for this action.   
  • Developed a Geographic Information System (GIS) project for reading in ArcGis, QGis, Google Earth and printed a set of designed pieces with varied geographical information collected or compiled regarding the temporary ponds. It was concluded the creation of the cartography and identification of the managers of the land with ponds. A final report for this action was also prepared.
  • The field work, laboratory analysis and data processing regarding the analysis of hydrological and hydrogeological context of temporary ponds is concluded. The results allow us to identify two distinct generic contexts of the hydrological and hydrogeological functioning of the ponds.  A final technical report was prepared for this action.
  • It was created and developed a website of the Project, in Portuguese and English, and created a page in Facebook (www.facebook.com/lifecharcos), which are updated regularly.
  • The brochure of the project (8000 copies in PT and 2000 copies in EN) was producted and distributed.
  • It was done 4 public sessions for presentation of the Project, the first in Odemira in February 2014, the second in Vila Nova de Milfontes in March 2015, the third in Vila do Bispo in December 2015 and the fourth in Almograve in April 2016.
  • It has prepared a check-list for the biotic and abiotic factors that identifies threats, human pressure, and the presence of bio-indicator species or habitat features, among others. It will contribute to a quick assessment of the conservation status of Mediterranean Temporary Ponds. A scientific paper was produced.
  • It was prepared a "Simplified Recognition Manual" and a "Simplified Assessment Form”. In the scope of this work a training session "Identification of Habitat 3170 - Mediterranean temporary ponds and their conservation status" was carried out in Odemira in May 2017, for all guards of nature from the different entities that exist in Portugal, namely ICNF, APA, CCDR, GNR-SEPNA.
  • It was collected seeds and spores from 94 species of plants in order to create a germplasm bank.
  • Two intermediate ponds were built, planted shrubs on the margins of ponds and created shelters from stone and wood to promote habitat connectivity for amphibians, mammals, reptiles and other biological groups in the pond complex.
  • Rehabilitation of a pond with eradication of exotic plants, shrub control.
  • Rehabilitation of 9 ponds with replacement of the natural relief with slight sinking and replacement of the upper organic horizon to ensure the safeguard of the seeds and cysts of the species of the temporary ponds.
  • Recovery of a pond with eradication of exotic plants and elimination of drainage ditch.
  • Implementation of controlled grazing in four temporary ponds complexes, with sheep or cows during the summer months of 2016.
  • Oral presentations were made and posters about the project at the International Congress of Wetlands in Huesca - Spain, on the 10th Seminar on Groundwater in Évora - Portugal, on the International Symposium of Mediterranean Temporary Ponds in Sassari - Italy, on the 11th annual European Chapter meeting of the Society of Wetlands Scientists in Potsdam (Germany) and at the International Bats Research Conference (South Africa).
  • It was disseminated by various media organs the action developed by the LIFE Charcos Project, namely, reference of 8 stories in national news organizations, 5 interviews or television reports and dozens of articles on the Internet and radio.
  • It was carried out a training session for all guards of nature from the different entities that exist in Portugal, namely ICNF, APA, CCDR, GNR-SEPNA, in Odemira in May 2015.
  • Several environmental education actions were carried out with students from schools inside SCI. In the academic year of 2014/15 were made 14 presentations in the classroom, 12 field trips to temporary ponds, all includes 393 students from 20 classes in 8 schools of various levels of education, from pre-school to secondary, in the municipalities of Vila do Bispo and Odemira.
  • In the academic year of 2015/16 were made 53 presentations in the classroom, 33 field trips to temporary ponds, all includes 1112 students from 53 classes in 22 schools of various levels of education, from pre-school to secondary, in the municipalities of Sines (1 school), Odemira (14 schools) and Vila do Bispo (7 schools).
  • In the academic year of 2016/17 were made 13 performances of the children's tale, four theater plays, 35 presentations in the classroom, 28 field trips to temporary ponds, all includes 846 students from 36 classes in 16 schools of various levels of education (10 schools in the municipalities of Odemira and 7 from Vila do Bispo), from pre-school to secondary. There were also 3 training actions for teachers.
  • Contacts were held with 23 owners or land managers with ponds. Five collaboration protocols (3 short-term and 2 long-term) were established that allowed the implementation of management/recovery measures in 18 ponds.
  • The LIFE Charcos Project Seminar took place from May 1 to 4, 2017, at the University of the Algarve at Gambelas Campus in Faro.
  • Promotional materials were produced: posters, covers, key-cases, stickers, video of the project, laymans report and children's tale.
  • Some Environmental Education materials were produced (Game of the goose and virtual game about temporary ponds).
  • Interpretation Center of Temporary Ponds in the Southwest Alentejo
  • Implementation of the Interpretation Center of Temporary Ponds in the Southwest Alentejo in Vila Nova de Milfontes.
  • 3 visitation routes were installed (2 in Vila Nova de Milfontes and 1 in S. Miguel).
  • 5 general panels for the dissemination of the LIFE Charcos Project were installed in Vila Nova de Milfontes, Odemira, S.Teotónio, Vila do Bispo and Sagres.
  • 7 informational panels about MTP recovery actions and inter-pond connectivity were installed.
  • The MTP Best Practices Manual and Illustrated Guide were produced.
  • The final report on the socio-economic impact of the project was produced.
  • The After-LIFE Conservation Plan was produced.


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