Santander, Sep 22 (EFE).- The actions carried out for four years within the framework of the European LIFE Stop Cortaderia project have allowed this invasive species, known as Pampas Duster, not to have advanced from the coast towards the ‘inside, but, although the objectives , the fight continues.

SEO-Birdlife, various associations and the Government of Cantabria, together with other executives of the Atlantic strip, have been fighting for four years against the Cortaderia Selloana (Yerba or Duster of the Pampa) for, with the economic support of the regions and Europe, are trying to prevent this species from invading the Cantabrian coast.

The objectives have been exceeded and the desire to continue to fight against an invasive species that affects the entire European Atlantic arc continues, because the manager of SEO-Birlife in Cantabria, Felipe González, assures Efe that they have stopped the spread from the feather duster inside the community and, consequently, to the Spanish plateau with effective methods for its eradication.

However, he warns that “a lot of work remains” and asks for “consistency” on the path laid out so as not to return to the initial state in which the Cantabrian coastal areas were four years ago.

Felipe González emphasizes the importance of the fight against the feather duster being endowed with resources and that local, regional and national administrations and companies collaborate for its eradication.


In addition, it requests the commitment of institutions such as the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, since the road axes have “thousands of hectares” with plumerales, which favors their expansion. In the opinion of this biologist, it is the ministry which must fight to eradicate it.

LIFE Stop Cortaderia ends on September 30, but the SEO-Birdlife spokesperson suggests that the organizations that supported its execution, such as Amica, Ampros or Serca, intend to apply for European funding to continue the work carried out.

“We are looking for funding to keep the fronts open”, explains González, who is delighted that after four years, we already know “that it is possible” to eradicate the feather duster and that this fight “has effects on biodiversity “.


Stop Cortaderia has managed to stop the advance of this invasive species in 58 of the 102 municipalities of Cantabria, eliminating specimens and restoring more than 300 hectares with native plants and species.

Moreover, he did this by employing people with disabilities, who were put in charge of the work in the field, some teams that, according to González, they also intend to maintain.

Last May, the project won the European Commission’s Red Natura 2000 award in the category of socio-economic benefits and the jury highlighted the empowerment its development has meant for people with disabilities in the world of work.

To take stock of these four years of project, the Department of Rural Development of Cantabria, which is associated with this eradication of the feather duster through a grasshopper elimination plan in Cantabria, organized a meeting this week with all those who participated in the initiative.

In this meeting, with 60 specialists, the adviser Guillermo Blanco spoke of the “more than positive” assessment of the project.

“The feather duster is perhaps, due to its own biological characteristics, the best example of an invasive species in which the efforts made in a field can be useless”, acknowledged Blanco, who also called for “greater commitment” for the Ministry of Transport.

The meeting was not only about theoretical sessions, but there were also technical workshops to learn about feather duster ecology and biological and physical control methods, with a presence in the Cuchía wetlands or in the former Solvay quarry, where SEO / BirdLife carried out various restoration works.

The results of scientific studies carried out by the Polytechnic of Coimbra (Portugal) or the impacts that the feather duster causes on biodiversity or on public health, through research carried out by the Valdecilla Institute (Idival) and the hospital Cantabrian itself. AND

Pablo Ayerbe Caselles

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