Through this campaign, MONTIS wants the jays to sow oak trees on their properties.
Through this campaign, MONTIS intends to develop an acorn seeding program that takes advantage of the jays' behaviour.
Jays collect and store acorns within a range of five kilometres or more. It is thought that they choose the largest and best ones, and a single jay may hide 3 to 5 thousand acorns over the period of one winter. They "forget" many of them, and when the acorns germinate, the cotyledons are used to feed the young in springtime. They seem to choose the best spots to hide them, often without reach of humans.
We consider it especially interesting to use natural processes in order to reinforce the expansion of oak forests, drawing on the behaviour of a bird species to perform seeding in a very inexpensive way that is easy to replicate by anyone.
This is a simple technique that consists of placing acorn-filled trays in locations where one wishes to increase the number of oak trees. The trays are designed to be inaccessible to rodents and other animals. The use of the trays by the jays varies; therefore, the project includes buying some photo trapping cameras that will collect information about the conditions that appear more favourable. This campaign aims to prepare its application in all of Montis' properties by the autumn of 2018.
Beyond the actual conservation effects, Montis intends to use this technique in order to involve common people in the collection and placement of acorns in the trays, thus increasing the contact and knowledge about interactions in the natural world, demonstrating the utility of the various elements that are present in ecosystems, and the advantage of having naturalised systems that are as diverse and complex as possible.
Any money raised that exceeds the amount set for the campaign will be applied in the post-fire recovery of the Vouga-Caramulo Natural Park.
- Creation and placement of trays
- Collection and placement of acorns on trays
Direct management and training activities:
- 4 Voluntary weekends: 20 persons, 2 days, 1 night