Magazine articles

Summary: We present the results of an intervention to control prickly pear Opuntia dillenii in an area of coastal dunes with Juniperus spp. and Pinus pinea at the ‘Laguna del Portil’ Site of Community Importance, Huelva, southern Spain, in 2015-2017. In the first stage, a total of 2,266 m³ (approximately 460 MT) of the cactus was removed using heavy machinery, which was supplemented by the manual removal of 4 MT of fragments. Subsequently, as part of the periodic control and monitoring work, a total of 200 and 126 kg of shoots and saplings were removed manually after 15 and 25 months respectively. Twenty-six months after the mechanical removal, the composition of native plant species in treated and reference plots (uninvaded areas that represent well-preserved native vegetation) provided evidence of natural recovery. The economic efficiency of the different control stages was compared. The results suggest that combining mechanical and manual methods, adapted to the abundance, size and distribution of the invasive plant, was an effective approach. Additionally, subsequent annual rounds of control appear to be sufficient to provide effective ongoing control of the invasion of Opuntia dillenii.


Available atSee

Summary: Life Conhabit Andalusia is participating, for the first time, in the quarterly electronic winter newsletter of EUROPARC-Spain, corresponding to number 44 published in December 2017. With its contribution in the form of an article, this European initiative, dedicated to the protection of the coastal habitats of Andalusia, explains how they have developed and what their advancement has been over the 3 years that they have been up and running, with details about the actions carried out in the Natura 2000 Network spaces that they cover, as well as explanations of the intended objectives and those that have been achieved.


Available at: See

Summary: Life Conhabit Andalusia participated, again, in the autumn edition of the quarterly electronic newsletter of the Spanish IUCN Committee, number 27, (published in November 2017), with an article about the participation that it is promoting in order to multiply the dissemination of the natural values that it protects (priority habitats and unique species), while it encourages social awareness of the importance of conserving them. Specifically, the article highlights the different sector meetings held by the project with the local councils from towns that accommodate Natura 2000 Network spaces, as well as with tourism companies that carry out their activity in these areas in a sustainable way. The aim is to include them as allies in the divulgence of the environmental richness of spaces that they are responsible for with different collaborations. In addition, it discusses the intention to continue with these meetings and add new sectors to them.


Available at: See

Summary: Life Conhabit Andalusia participated in the winter edition of the Spanish IUCN Committee’s quarterly electronic newsletter, number 24, (published in February 2017), with an article about one of its main objectives: the dissemination of the natural riches and priority habitats to preserve in the 15 Natura 2000 Network spaces that they are responsible for. This is a task which this project, co-financed by the European Union and coordinated by the Environment and Town and Country Planning Department, is intended to promote with the support of the consultancy firm Atlántida Medio Ambiente.


Available at: See

Resumen: Beach evening primrose Oenothera drummondii is a perennial plant native to the southern USA and adjacent parts of Mexico that invades coastal habitats in several countries. There are currently no accepted control methods. We conducted a seven-month controlled field trial using the glyphosate herbicide Roundup® Ultra Plus in the Odiel Marsh Nature Reserve, Huelva Province, southern Spain. Different herbicide concentrations were tested by knapsack spraying. We estimated the costs of treating an entire invaded nature reserve in southern Spain where Oenothera drummondii has invaded 123 ha of land. A dose of 20 g active ingredient/litre was the minimum effective dose for this species in coastal dunes. As new seedlings appeared after a single herbicide treatment, periodic treatments would be necessary to maintain the population level below an impact threshold. However, the total glyphosate input (710 kg active ingredient/year) to the Reserve for an indefinite period may give rise to social rejection, and demands for the assessment of ecotoxicological impact on native fauna, adjacent habitats and site uses before initiating control actions at full scale. The control costs of the entire 123 ha invaded area for two herbicide applications/year were estimated at €162,000/year (€1,317/ha/year). This includes materials (30% of total costs) and workers (70% of total costs). The study highlights the difficulties and constraints of controlling advanced stages of invasions.

Available at: See

Abstract: The Thymus carnosus Boiss (Lamiaceae) is a small bush indigenous to the south-eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, listed as "in critical danger" in Andalusia and protected by the applicable legislation. The sandbar of El Rompido, on the coast of Lepe in Huelva, is home to the largest colony in Spain. The spread of retama (Retama monosperma) is a threat to its Preservation. This study describes the characteristics of T. carnosus at the sandbar of El Rompido in regards to its local distribution, robustness, sex-ratio, demographic, and accompanying plant community. Thymus carnosus grows preferentially on fixed dunes with herbaceous vegetation, between the leeside of the primary dune and the most mature coastal sage scrub. The abundance of T. carnosus varied among the colonies studies (n = 1136 and 226 individuals at colonies 1 and 2, respectively), associated with significant differences in the amount of Retama and the composition of accompanying vegetation. Colony 1, with a lower density of Retama, displayed a smaller size structure, with evidence of recruitment and a proportion of hermaphroditic individuals 3.3 times greater than females. For its part, Colony 2, immersed in a fixed dune colonised by mature retama and more closed-off, displayed a greater medium size, with a greater proportion of  females (hermaphrodites/females = 1.9), and without recruitment. Robustness was similar at both colonies. These results provide an updated knowledge of T. carnosus on the eastern edge of its natural distribution and serves as a basis for planning Preservation activities for the species as well as the recovery of its favourable habitats by the Regional Ministry for the Environment and Land Use, as part of the framework of the LIFE CONHABIT ANDALUCÍA project.


Available at: See

Abstract: Evening primrose (Oenothera drummondii Hook) is a plant species native to the southern coast of North America and Mexico that has formed invasive prairies at habitats of European community interest at the Marismas del Odiel Natural Site (Huelva, South of Spain). We evaluate the extent of the invasion by creating a georeferenced densty map of the sandy environments of the site. The extent of the invasion in November of 2014 was 122.77 ha., which is a total of 30.2% of potentially-invadable areas (406.77 ha.) Oenothera drummondii colonises dune environments, with a preference for fixed dunes with herbaceous vegetation. The magnitude of the invasion and the biological characteristics of the species give rise to serious management difficulties, making it recommended to evaluate different control methods according to the current distribution.

Available at: See

Conferences and Seminars

Life Conhabit Andalusia was present at the fifth Workshop on the Marine and Coastal Environment in the Autonomous Community of Valencia and in the region of Murcia: ‘Strengthening Partnerships’, held on 26 January 2018. An event organised by Red Cross Alicante, Poseidon Association, Posidoniamente, with the support of the City Council of Altea, with the aim of strengthening and forging links between the different agents, public and private, involved in the conservation of the sea: local, regional and national administrations, fishermen, universities and research centres, NGO, associations, businesses related to the sea and its coastal surroundings; to raise awareness about what work is being carried out and to promote cooperation among them in order to encourage active and participative management, in the long term, and to facilitate the processes of governance in protected marine and coastal spaces.

In this forum, the intervention of the European project, with work in the form of a poster, has highlighted the important role that Local Government plays in the protection of priority habitats, as well as the dissemination of their enormous richness. This is an involvement that Life Conhabit promotes due to the benefits that it generates for the regions, not only for the conservation of their natural environment, but also as a way to boost richness and employment.

See the following document:

Life Conhabit Meeting Poster ‘Strengthening Partnerships’



Life Conhabit Andalusia participated in the Andalusian Meeting of Experiences of Environmental Education and Urban Sustainability organised by the Environment and Town and Country Planning Department of the Regional Government of Andalusia and the Andalusian Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FAMP). At the event, held in the Casa de la Cultura (House of Culture) in Conil de la Frontera (Cadiz), on 25 October, the European initiative highlighted, with its work presented in the form of a poster, the crucial role of local Government in the protection of priority habitats, as well as the dissemination of its enormous richness. This is an involvement that Life Conhabit promotes due to the benefits that it generates for the regions, not only for the conservation of their natural environment, but also as a way to boost richness and employment.

See the following document:
Life Conhabit Meeting Poster EASU

Life Conhabit Andalusia has also been present in the eighth edition of the Congress of Plant Biology and Conservation held in Madrid, organised by the Spanish Society of Plant Biology and Conservation (SEBiCoP), together with other institutions. The project participated in the event, carried out from 4 to 7 July, to explain the action that it has carried out on the Jujube tree in El Toyo, (Almeria) to control and eliminate exotic plants and, at the same time, it was highlighted as an example of intervention carried out despite the social controversy that it has generated. In addition, Life Conhabit Andalusia has underlined that this action had the sole objective of improving the state of conservation of the jujube’s habitat, so unique in this area, where it co-exists with the Maytenus and other emblematic species of flora native to Almeria.


See the following document:

Life Conhabit Poster SEBICOP Congress

Life Conhabit Andalusia participated in the European LIFE project meeting held in Zandvoort (Holland), from 15 to 17 June 2016. 

This meeting served for the exchange of management experiences in the framework of Life projects with actions focused on coastal and inland dune ecosystems. Results of 15 LIFE projects were presented. LIFE Conhabit Andalucía project presented the preliminary results of several control actions of invasive alien and competing native species that are being carried out in dunes of the coast of Huelva.


See the following documents:

Poster: Viability of the chemical control of Oenothera drummondii in Odiel Marshes Nature Reserve (southern Spain).
Poster: Control of prickly pear Opuntia dillenii in dune juniper thickets (Juniperus spp.) from Andalusia (southern Spain).
Poster: Clear-cutting of stone pine Pinus pinea plantations to preserve Natura 2000 wetland habitats from Doñana Natural Park (southern Spain).
Poster: Control of the native-invasive Retama monosperma in grey dunes from Andalusia (southern Spain): restoring the habitat of Thymus carnosus

Life Conhabit Andalusia presented the project with special attention on the activities to be carried out in the province of Cadiz.

This biannual symposium brings together nature studies in all areas (administrators, researchers, naturalists) with a common interest: knowledge and Preservation of the natural heritage of the province of Cadiz.


See the following documents:

See Presentation

Life Conhabit Andalusia participated by presenting the project to attendees of five of the seminars organised. 

The importance of the role of the Natura 2000 Network in the Preservation and sustainable development of Andalusia requires the reinforcement and consolidation of technical training activities that favour greater social involvement and adequate understanding on the part of people who, directly or indirectly, participate in their management, monitoring, and Preservation. The Directorate General of the Environment and Protected Areas has organised these sessions in each of the provinces of Andalusia.



Date: 12th of November of 2015. 

Location: Salón de actos de la Delegación Territorial de Hacienda y Administración Pública (Calle Arapiles, nº 10-12)



Date: 17th of November of 2015. 

Location: Salón de actos de la Delegación Territorial de medio Ambiente y Ordenación del territorio (Avenida de la Aurora, nº 47)

Edificio Servicios Múltiples.



Date: 18th of November of 2015

Location: Centro de Visitantes del Parque Natural Bahía de Cádiz. San Fernando.



Date: 20th of November of 2015. 

Location: Centro de Visitantes de Calatilla (Paraje Natural Marismas del Odiel).

Date: 30th of November of 2015. 

Location: CIECEMA (Avenida de la Juventud, nº 0. Almonte).

Life Conhabit Andalusia participated with three communications, one orally and two in poster format. The oral presentation described the most important achievements of the projetc. The posters displayed the preliminary results of two project actions: (Action A4): Viability of chemical control of Oenothera drummondii at the Odiel Natural Site (Huelva; S. of Spain): Estimation of the extension of the invasion and the minimum dose of herbicide; and Action C4): Recommendations for the management of the largest Spanish population of Thymus carnosus Boiss. Diagnosis of its state of conservation.


The purpose of this Conference was to communicate progress in regards to the Preservation of plant biodiversity, spanning themes as varied as molecular studies of plants, reproductive biology, and on-site/off-site Preservation activities, studies on demographics and dynamics of plant colonies and strategies for environmental management.



See the following documents:

VII Congreso BCP

Oenothera drummondii

Thymus carnosus Boiss

News in Press

Conhabit’s Materials

This Awareness and Communication Plan forms a fundamental part of the LIFE CONHABIT ANDALUSIA Project. Conservation and improvement in priority habitats on the Andalusian coast. With the application of this Awareness and Communications Plan the achievement of the following objectives will be advanced:

- To convey the values and significances that the Natura 2000 Network has as a Heritage site and the presence of habitats and species of community interest status.
- To increase the level of knowledge and awareness of key sectors regarding the main threats that the coastal habitats present.
- To convey the social, economic and cultural benefits that the conservation of coastal habitats brings.
- To improve social attitude towards the measures of conservation related to the improvement and conservation of priority habitats.
- To promote the public image of the Life Conhabit Andalusia project.
- To promote support and social participation in the Life Conhabit Andalusia project.