Summary of field and monitoring visits in Kolkheti National Park
On 21st of May visit in Kolkheti National Park was conducted with the chairman of International Business and Economic Development Center, David Tsiskaridze and an expert Guranda Makharadze. Meeting was accompanied with the head of the protected area and colleagues working in it. Introductory consultation between the staff and project coordinators took place in the office. Aim of the meeting was to present the invasive species surveys specification and monitoring methodology. Joint approach for implementing the invasive species monitoring should be arranged. Matching of several (including Ukrainian template) methodologies was discussed during the meeting. Each topic step by step was scanned by the meeting attendants. Besides, the work strategy and schedule for the future collaboration/activities was planned.
After the office meeting, journey around Kolkheti National Park was held through the Lake Paliastomi and Pechora River. Expert from the National Park introduced invasive plant species (False indigo-bush - Amorpha fruticosa) spread alongside the river. Tendency of distribution is an ongoing process in a quickly manner causing the serious threat to the local ecosystem. At the end of the meeting arrangement on the further collaboration and starting the monitoring process was agreed (Please, refer to the attached images).
From the beginning of the meeting with the experts, three invasive species were selected throughout the Kolkheti National Park: Canadian goldenrod - Solidago canadens, Caspian locust - Gleditsia caspica and False indigo-bush -Amorpha fruticosa. After deciding the IAS monitoring sections, three sections were chosen within the area: Kolkheti(Paliastomi and Pechora River), Lanchkhuti and Katsoburi sections.
The second field visits held in Katsoburi and lanchkhuti sections during May 30-June 3. Identification of places, location and number of transects and planning the IAS monitoring visits, time schedule and appropriate steps were arranged during the visit.
Totally, five IAS monitoring visits were set up within the intended activities up to now. IAS monitoring visits have to be aimed at identification of invasive species spread over the section.
Actually, there are three plants identified for time being in Katsoburi section: Canadian goldenrod - Solidago canadens, Caspian locust - Gleditsia caspica and False indigo-bush -Amorpha fruticosa. At first day, an accent was delivered to the scale of distribution throughout the area. Consideration should be assumed to the fact that invasive species especially Caspian locust is spread not only within the protected area, but beoynd the borders, on the road lead to the area. Field study commenced with the guidance of methodology already accroded and confirmed between experts and the project cooridnator. Study consists transect method constituting trans sections of two meter width and length depeneded on the distance of covering of invasive plants.
During the IAS monitoring visits, pillars for transects were installed being marked/numbered for the future identification. Within two meters width transects, plants were calculated, measured by length (for setting out the average height), counted by diameter and identified by age. That was refered to trees - Caspian locust. As for Canadian goldenrod, each of plant within the borders of transect was counted and recorded in duly manner. Further characteristics will be reported within the field studies: Taxonomy/significance, security status, life form, general cover of invasive species %, average height of species (m), flowering time, terms of vegetation, the state of the alien population, total area of a template location (ha), area of distribution, density, GPS-coordinates and habitat description. For better visualization, please, refer to the attached images.
The next IAS monitoring visits dedicated to the same places due to the largeness of the territory. Study team continued identification of invasive plants through the same methodology. Together with all experts, trees were measured, aged, calculated by areas and recorded accordingly. It should be noticed, that some areas are not so abundant by spreading of Canadian goldenrod stipulated by massive richness of Alnus and interrupting their growing (Please, refer to the attached images).
Planned study trips will be moved on to other sections of Kolkheti National Park to be duly documented and reflected.
Working meeting with Administration of Kolkheti National Park and Field visit in Pechora-Paliastomi (21.05.21)