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Stipa borysthenica has bloomed!
One of the rarest xerothermic species in Poland - Stipa borysthenica - has bloomed in the grasslands cared for by the Naturalists' Club as part of this project. This grass is found only in four locations in the country - three of which are in the Dolna Odra Natura 2000 site. Stipa borysthenica is fully protected by law in Poland and listed in the Polish Red Data Book of Plants as critically threatened with extinction. Its few stands are also found in northeastern Germany, and it is also known in Hungary and Ukraine, where the center of its range is located. It is a rare species wherever it occurs. Unfortunately, Stipa borysthenica has not been included in Annex II of the Habitats Directive. In Poland, its habitat is xerothermic sandy grasslands (code 6120*). It is also cited as a characteristic species for a habitat that is not found in Poland - Pannonian sand steppes, code 6260*.

As part of the LIFE+ project, most of the known stands of Stipa borysthenica in Poland will come under protection. Already this year, we have started extensive grazing by sheep in some of these areas. Also this year, two stands will be cleared of incursions of pine, poplar, aspen, black locust and blackthorn. Next year we plan to reconstruct part of the grasslands that historically were know to be sites where Stipa borysthenica grew in the past.