Restocking Stipa veneta

Among the objectives of LIFE REDUNE is the strengthening (or restocking) of the populations of Stipa veneta* Moraldo present in the sites covered by the project. The aim is to increase the density of the existing populations through the planting of 1,000 conspecific individuals and to increase their genetic diversity in order to increase the viability of the populations themselves.

The action was planned on the basis of previous studies on the biological and ecological aspects of the species, causes and threat factors, as well as the physical characteristics of the sites involved and the processes underway.

Stipa veneta*, also known as the “Fairy Dublin“, is the only species of Stipa in Europe that has adapted to live in maritime dune environments. The primary habitat of the species is the xerophilous backdune grasslands (grey dunes) of habitat 2130*. It is a very rare and endangered species, listed as a priority species in All. II (and IV) of Directive 92/43/EEC as well as on the IUCN Red List as Threatened (EN). The risk of extinction of the species is very high.

The threat factors linked to the biology of the species are combined with those linked to the habitat, which is subject to numerous pressures, both natural (evolution of the biocenosis) and anthropic (expansion of agriculture and human settlements; tourist infrastructures; trampling, etc.). The conservation status at national level (Continental Biogeographic Region) is defined as bad (U2), and presents negative trend (ISPRA, 194/2014).

The LIFE Redune Project foresees a series of coordinated actions and interventions dedicated to Stipa veneta* such as:

  • “Plant nursery production” consisting in the collection of seeds from wild populations and the nursery production of the seedlings necessary for the implementation of the action to strengthen the populations of Stipa veneta*;
  • “Strengthening of the populations of Stipa veneta*”, which foresees the transplanting of Stipa veneta* in areas where small populations are now naturally existing along the coast of the northern Adriatic;
  • “Monitoring of populations and plants of Stipa veneta*”, which envisages the continuous control of introduced individuals and populations of the species at all project sites in both the ex-ante and ex-post phases.

With specific regard to the activities for strengthening the populations of Stipa veneta*, on 20 January 2020 the first planting of 500 Stipa veneta* plants took place within the “Laguna del Mort and Eraclea pinewoods” site. Prior to planting, the area underwent a thinning intervention within the 2130* – 2250* mosaic and an intervention to clean up the material beached following the events of the exceptional sea storm of 12 November 2019.

In the autumn period October-November 2020, the progress of activities related to the action of strengthening the population has provided for the planting of n. 42 seedlings of Stipa veneta* in the area of the Laguna del Mort (Municipality of Eraclea – VE ).

The seedlings were planted in small groups of 3-5 individuals at a distance of about 20/30 cm from each other. The single groups were spaced in different points of the habitat and made recognisable by the affixing of a bamboo cane with a marker.


The strengthening of the populations will continue during 2021 with the planting of an additional 500 individuals.