WWF AND APSHERONSK FORESTRY TECHNICAL СOLLEGE WILL CONSTRUCT A GREENHOUSE FOR ENDANGERED BUXUS COLCHICA CONSERVATION
Valery Shmunk, head of Northern Caucasus regional office of the WWF-Russia, and Victoria Kharchenko, director of the Apsheronsk forestry technical college, signed an agreement on cooperation between the Fund and the college. The signing of the document took place in the Krasnodar office of WWF.
The main purpose of the document is the establishment of a greenhouse in close cooperation in the territory of the college for saving and reproduction of the Buxus Colchica – a unique evergreen plant species growing only in the Caucasus and listed in the Red Book.
«To date, 99% of Russia's Buxus Colchica forests have been destroyed by invasive pest. Therefore, we have an important task - to save this unique plant from extinction. Apsheronsk forestry technical college has supported our initiative on creation of the greenhouse, and we’re confident that our joint work will yield positive results,» Valery Shmunk, head of Northern Caucasus regional office of the WWF-Russia explains.
At the moment, it’s under threat of complete disappearance due to the invasion of the box tree moth. This pest was brought to Russia when preparing for the Olympic games in Sochi and engaged in landscaping of cities. Gluttonous box tree moth quickly got to Buxus Colchica in the forests and almost completely destroyed this species.
«Our college has own forest fund, as well as a staff of professional foresters and students who can ensure the effective operation of the greenhouse. We are also confident that it will be an excellent practical base for research for students,» agrees with the colleague Victoria Kharchenko, the director of the Apsheronsk forestry technical college.
This year, within the campaign "Earth Hour", corporate partners of WWF were able to raise money necessary to saving Buxus Colchica in the Caucasus. The total amount of donations was 2.5 million rubles. The action was financially supported by 11 Russian companies. The funds collected during the campaign will be used to build a greenhouse that will protect young seedlings of Buxus Colchica from re-eating with box tree moth and provide special microclimatic conditions for plant growth.
The opening of the greenhouse with an area of 180 square meters is planned for September 2018. Planting of Buxus Colchica will be made in 2 different ways: by green cuttings and by seeds. This will help to maintain the genetic diversity of the species in the future. The project will be implemented with the direct participation of experts-biologists.