Planta!’s volunteer’s passion for conservation makes a whole forest grow. José Angel, Duniel and Sandy take part in the propagation of threatened species at nurseries of four Eastern Cuba provinces.
Proyecto: Conservación, evaluación y recuperación de Dendrocereus nudiflorus.
Travelling to Eastern Cuba on an expedition to assist with nursery species propagation it may not seem like a big deal. Unless a very rare cactus is propagated at these nurseries, the huge “aguacate cimarrón” (Dendrocereus nudiflorus), exclusive of two Caribbean islands including Cuba. Despite the fact that it is one of the tallest cacti in the world (reaching up to 10 meters), its giant rough appearance has not been able to intimidate tourism and oil extraction, which have drastically reduced the natural populations of the species.
From nursery to nursery, we travelled across four eastern provinces in just five days. We spent more time on the highway than on “mainland”. We were not working in natural areas but at Planta!’s volunteers’ backyards. It is here where they grow the saplings, and we recorded values of temperature and humidity at almost all the nurseries we visited to monitor for the optimal growing conditions of this cactus.