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Formentera says checks of incoming olive trees would stem incoming snakes

foto control serpsLast night at 8.00pm, minister of environment Vicenç Vidal and head of species protection Joan Mayol, both of the Govern Balear, took the opportunity of a presentation at la Mola's Casa del Poble to announce the results of a campaign to capture snakes on the island of Formentera. Since April 76 traps have been placed and 262 snakes have been caught. According to Vidal, analysis by the Universitat de les Illes Balears (UIB) of collected data indicates that 44% of the reptiles had eaten lizards. The regional minister called the data “cause for hope” that snakes could ultimately be eradicated from the island.

Formentera Council (CiF) officials present at the presentation included Bartomeu Escandell, who fills a joint role as councillor of the president's office and head of rural affairs, and Daisee Aguilera, the CiF's councillor of environment. According to Aguilera, given the promising nature of initial results the Council has already acquired an additional 60 cages to extend the trap-and-capture push. Created by the Eivissa's Escola d'Arts i Oficis, the traps are considered more environmentally “ethical”. The recently updated design boasts two inner compartments which keep the captured snakes separate from the bait, live mice. Thanks to the tweaked design the mice's lives are spared, and instead can continue to serve as bait to catch more snakes. According to Aguilera, traps have already been set in la Mola, Es Caló, Sant Ferran and Migjorn, and she made assurances that at present the invasive reptiles had only been found in la Mola and surrounding areas.

“The current trap-and-capture push, a joint effort of the CiF and Govern, is a very positive first step”, said Aguilera, “but more measures will be necessary”. To stem the arrival of snakes, the environment councillor says the most important measure to adopt will be “a control of incoming ornamental trees”. Aguilera cited olive trees as the principal method of transport for stowaway snakes. She also seized the opportunity to salute “exceptional co-operation on the part of la Mola residents and of the population of Formentera at large”.

Council continues bid to support scientific research

MIRADOR PREMSAThe Formentera Council’s Office of Culture and Patrimony announced today the start of its 2016 call for applications for its €6,000 research grant. Applications can come from any area of the arts, humanities or social sciences.

“The Council's renewed backing of this measure, now in its fifth straight year, is a sign of the administration's firm support for scientific research and production”, explained Susana Labrador, culture and patrimony councillor of the CiF. Conditions of eligibility have been posted on BOIB, the online bulletin of the Balearic Islands, and interested parties have until October 14 to apply. At the close of the application period a panel will evaluate proposals for scientific interest, coherence and methodology and based on researchers' curriculum vitae.

Winning projects from years past include the 2012 study “De qui venim: anàlisi psicocultural de la gent gran a Formentera” by Josep Maria Garcia-Borés, the first grant recipient. In 2013, Vicent Ferrer Mayans and Raquel Guasch Ferrer were awarded the grant for “Estudi ecotoponímic de les véndes de gregal de l’illa de Formentera”. The following year, in 2014, the winner was Maria Bofill Martínez, for her project “L’estudi de les comunitats prehistòriques de Formentera a partir de l’anàlisi funcional dels artefactes lítics i ossis”. Last year, Dr Francesca Tugores Truyol won the grant for her study “Formentera vista pels viatgers”.

Obra Social “la Caixa”, CiF renew commitment to island's elderly

signatura conveni fundacio la caixaJaume Ferrer, the president of the Formentera Council (CiF), and Josep Marí, the director of CaixaBank branch 00187 in Sant Francesc Xavier, sat down today to put their signatures on an agreement to sponsor a senior citizens' programme called Gent Gran at two of the island's centres for the elderly. In so doing, both institutions hope to renew their commitment to active ageing. CiF social welfare councillor Vanessa Parellada was also present at the signing.

In particular, the deal stands to impact the local retirees' and pensioners' club and the Sant Ferran social club and seniors' centre. So far this year, the two centres have been the scene of some ten workshops and guided activities, attended by more than 200 seniors. Obra Social “la Caixa” has announced plans to extend a number of its health and IT initiatives to other senior centres.

The Gent Gran programme is Obra Social “la Caixa”'s flagship initiative, its origins stretching back to 1915. For a century, Gent Gran's offshoot projects have, with help from actors like the Formentera Council, evolved to meet the changing needs of the programme's target group.

The new generation of elderly citizens
The aim of Gent Gran is to promote seniors' active participation in their communities and respond to their most up-to-the-minute needs. The programme revolves around health and wellbeing workshops, social engagement, volunteering and IT training.

Formentera celebrates World Breastfeeding Week

lactanciaIn an announcement made today, the Formentera Council Office of Social Welfare released details about two lectures on breastfeeding to be given this week at the Formentera hospital in commemoration of World Breastfeeding Week. One of the talks, scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, 5.00 to 7.00pm in the hospital's conference room, will centre on weaning. The second, slated to take place on Friday, will focus on the effect that childbirth can have on the breastfeeding process.

Not only has the Formentera Council provided money to fund Friday's lecture, but the administration has also put forward 500 euros for the cash prizes that will be awarded to winners of the photo contest on breastfeeding in the Pitiüsa islands. Prizes for that competition, which was organised jointly by Eivissa and Formentera's heath bureau and an association that works to promote breastfeeding in the Balearics, were handed out yesterday at the former Can Misses hospital of Eivissa. Formentera's councillor of social welfare, Vanessa Parellada, was in attendance at the ceremony.

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premsa@conselldeformentera.cat