The year 2015 did end and we have a short view back on what we did, and what we achieved in 2015. And a view forward on our aims for 2016. We’ll summarize the running projects in some more detail shortly. First we want to thank all our members and contributors however!
We got generous financial support and assistance from our members Lisa and Cade Johnson, Linda Winkelhöfer, Rainer Schindwolf, Edwin Dominguez, Wolfgang Seign, Hans-Werner Balling and Robin Middleton. This support allowed us to travel to Sosúa and to intensify our work on Sosúa Sage. We are looking forward to overcome the current difficulties in this project in 2016!
Acción salva una especie got field support from the members Rolando Uria, Miquel Angel Abreu Santos and Maik Schmietendorf . Rolando gave us valuable expert advice on the cultivation and reproduction of Salvias. Miquel did support the project on The Lost Sage of Constanza by joining a field trip to the last known growing site and by making photos of plants and flowers. Maik did support the project on Sosúa Sage. He made some excellent photos, that will probably help us to get more support for this important project. Species conservation is lots of fieldwork. Thanks a lot for your valuable contributions!
Kate Wallace and Rob Crowley joined Acción salva una especie in 2015. Kate and Rob are running the birding camp Villa Barrancolí in the Sierra de Bahoruco. They generously provided space on site, for a number of Sosúa Sages. Thanks a lot for caring for these valuable plants!
Werner Rümmele supported our search for Maria’s skipper. Maria’s Skipper is a Hispaniolan butterfly species, lost without trace since 25 years. Werner published our article on this mysterious species in his magazin LA PLAYA. This enabled us to reach a big audience in Sosúa and elsewhere in the Dominican Republic. We hope that our invitation to join the search for this butterfly, will help to solve the riddle of Maria’s Skipper.
A big thank you goes to the botanical gardens and museums that provided support. Especially to Ricardo García, Teodoro Clase and Wilkin Encarnación ( Jardín Botánico Nacional Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso), Gabriel de los Santos (Museo Nacional de Historia Natural Profesor Eugenio De Jesus Marcano), Tiziana Ulian (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew), Kathy Musial and Sean Lahmeyer (The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens).
Last but not least, a great thank you to everybody who supported us in any other way. A big thank you to everybody who left helpful comments on this website and to everybody who got in touch with us! Thanks a lot Franz Lang, Andreas Jazeschen, Michal Popule, Walter Obermayer, Carla and Roger Lemmer, William Webster, Christopher Traiser, Stephanie Staples, Dave from Sosúa, Ingo Pilz, Scott Zona, Ferhat Celep, Nathalie Schürmann, Diana Dau, Juan Diego Vasquez, Sophia Melia, Steve Brauning, Francis Santana Montalvo, Vašek Homolka, Gwen Jones, Ginny Hunt, Jurgen Hoppe, Elisabete Carvalho, Andreas Ebertz and Kiran Gadhave! Your kind support keeps Acción salva una especie running!
In 2015 we started to contribute seeds to the seedbanks in Santo Domingo and Kew. Have a look at our flickr account, to see pictures of the plants from which we collected seeds.
We also started the conservation and propagation project on Sosúa Sage. We were able to root a number of cuttings and did plant them at a second independent site, in order to start a backup population. Propagation by cuttings proofed to be unproductive however, and we are currently working to improve the very poor seedset of this species, in order to propagate this species from seeds. We plan to solve the problem with seedset in spring 2016 and get this species into the pioneer phase of commercial production the same year.
In 2015 we were able to refind The Lost Sage of Constanza. A extremely rare species that had been lost for 40 years. We are very happy that the Huntington Botanical Gardens were interested in starting an ex situ population of this sage. The 50 seeds we send tho Kathy Musial arrived well and we are looking forward to hear about the germination rate. Let’s keep our fingers crossed!
Lost Sage is one of the rarest plants in the Caribbean and at the brink of extinction. Our aim for 2016 is to set up a permanent station near the growing site, and to start a reproduction program for this species, from seeds. Your support is urgently needed for this project. Please set up a small monthly donation to support our montain station and the project on Lost Sage.
Its difficult (to impossible) to protect species here on the island, if you do not know whether they actually occure here or not. We were astonished to learn, that there is no such thing as a reliable and complete list of butterfly species of Hispaniola. Which means we started a updating online list. During our research we found the story of the mysterious Maria’s skipper. A species known from a single female, found (as a caterpillar) near Sosúa. It was obvious to us, that the search for this butterfly will be a good supplement to the running Sosúa Sage project.
Another big thank you to all members and contributors! I think we performed good this year, and we will do even better in 2016
Yours Martin Reith