Biotope Pau to the rescue of the Awlwort

Biotope Pau to the rescue of the Awlwort

Biotope Béarn – Basque country - August 2013

The Awlwort (Subularia aquatica) is a small plant from the Brassicaceae family found in shallow sections of mountain lakes. Becoming rare in France, the Pyrenees are the last refuge for this species. For several years, observers have noticed a marked decline in abundance around small lakes near Orédon, located in the heart of the Néouvielle National Reserve. The main threat is believed to be due to fine sediment deposits.

In early August, the National Park of the Pyrenees commissioned Biotope Pau to initiate a study that would test a range of in situ conservation measures for the species as well as habitat restoration practices. Over a three day period, Maxime Cosson, Project Manager and Rémi Guisier, expert botanist with Biotope, accompanied by a botanist diver, investigated a lake at 2000m altitude to find the remaining specimens. They were able to test several measures designed to protect the plants (weighted dome), and habitat rehabilitation (sediment removal and containment). All done while free-diving!

This project was a true test of real life conditions which will translate into future rehabilitation specifications. Biotope Pau is looking forward to the next project phase to apply the lessons learned from the previous year. 

Pose d'un dôme de protection - Crédits : Biotope.

Fin de mission sous la pluie - Crédits : Biotope.


Lieu d'intervention dans le Parc National des Pyrénées - Crédits : Biotope.