Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Translocating Isle of Man cabbage Coincya monensis ssp. monensis in the sand-dunes of the Sefton coast, Merseyside, UK

Published source details

Smith P.H. & Lockwood P.A. (2012) Translocating Isle of Man cabbage Coincya monensis ssp. monensis in the sand-dunes of the Sefton coast, Merseyside, UK. Conservation Evidence, 9, 67-71

Summary

This paper describes the results of a translocation rescue of the British endemic Isle of Man cabbage Coincya monensis ssp. monensis from a sand-dune ridge at Crosby, Merseyside, which was about to be excavated as a source of sand for a coastal protection scheme at nearby Hightown. Using methods developed during a 1992 translocation, over eight hundred 1st year plants, together with seed-pods, were moved by volunteers to two protected receptor sites at Crosby and Birkdale in August 2011. Monitoring the following summer located small surviving populations at the receptor sites but mortality of transplants appeared to be over 90%, seed germination and establishment contributing most individuals. Low success at Crosby seemed partly attributable to winter sand-blow and heavy public pressure, while vegetation overgrowth may have been an adverse factor at Birkdale. An unexpected finding was that the original Crosby colony survived the removal of most of its habitat, about 1300 plants being counted in 2012 on the levelled dune area. More than half were small seedlings, presumably derived from buried seed. Also, 234 Isle of Man cabbage plants were discovered on the new coastal defence bund at Hightown, having arisen from propagules transported from Crosby. Other known Sefton duneland colonies at Southport Marine Lake and Blundellsands were also monitored, the former having apparently declined to extinction.