Cuba Develops Program to Preserve Endemic Palm Tree
Ciego de Avila, Cuba, Mar 19 (Prensa Latina) A program to preserve the Copernicia fallaencis, a an endangered palm tree that is endemic to the region, is being developed in this central Cuban province.
Led by the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA) in Ciego de Avila, experts from several institutions are undertaking the task in the municipality of Chambas, in the northwestern region of the province, which is the only place where this kind of 'yarey' grows.
According to studies, the Copernicia fallensis has its largest habitat in Cuba in the village of Falla, where there are about 164 adult plants, and another large group of young plants and seedlings.
Blanca Perez, a forestry technician in Chambas, stated that the palm tree, which is also known as male 'yarey', is subject to great dangers, since the existing specimens are in agricultural areas and the destruction of their habitat is very possible.
The colonization of its space by exotic species, the use of its leaves to roof rural huts, the manufacture of bags and strings to tie 'guano' (palm leaves used as roofing) and the extraction of fibers to make brushes and brooms, have also contributed to its extinction.
One of the purposes of the preservation program is to educate the population, mainly children and peasants in the surrounding communities about how to care and protect 'yarey' by preventing its indiscriminate cutting.
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