Habitat Restoration is also called ecological restoration. It refers to projects where humans help nature to restore or renew degraded, damaged, or even totally destroyed ecosystems (that’s living organisms and their non-living supporters like air, soil and water). Benefits are for nature and humans – restoring land can home rare species, stop soil erosion and store carbon.
Because you love wildlife and want to make sure all of our Falklands plants and animals are around forever. Also because healthy ecosystems with a good range of native species preserve our precious soil, store water and carbon and survive climate change (increased storms, less soil moisture) better than impoverished areas.
Ask around, visit folk who have tried something similar – ask them lots of questions. There is lots of experience out there to learn from. Falklands Conservation love these types of projects so do contact us for ideas.
Think about fencing: removing or carefully controlling grazing livestock is often crucial.
Choose your methods: restoration techniques include planting tillers or using native seeds (find out more below).
Consider whether you need to control invasive species. Good biosecurity will be important to protect your area from new invasions.
Traditionally restoration has been carried out by planting tussac tillers often with large groups of happy volunteers. Exciting new methods include using different species, small plants and seeds.
Recent trials showed that a range of native plants could be grown easily from seed. Top performers were Fuegain couch grass, bluegrass and tussac. When grown on eroding ground all of these species required the addition of a small amount of manure to get them growing. It’s important not to add too much manure as this will favour non-native species which quickly overgrow our native plants. Seeds can be gathered from the wild or grown: Cape Dolphin Native Seed Hub has been set up to produce seeds for restoration on that farm.
Thank you to landowners and volunteers across the Falklands for sharing their restoration ideas and helping with projects. Our work is kindly sponsored by the John Ellerman Foundation.