Flora and Vegetation
“The earth is insulted and offers flowers in reply.” (Rabindranath Tagore)
There are thousands of plant species in the Canary Islands, with a very high rate of endemism. Our plant species are arranged according to the different island microclimates, giving rise to the so-called “Pisos de Vegetación” (Vegetation Levels). From the coasts to the summits, our islands are populated by coastal halophilic vegetation, tabaibales-cardonales, thermophilic forests, laurisilva (laurel-leaved forests), fayal-brezal, pine forests and summit retamares.
With the introduction of intensive cultivation on the islands after the conquest, large areas of land, once covered with vegetation, were cleared and ploughed up. The thermophilic forest was practically condemned to disappear, but also the laurel and pine forests were drastically reduced in area. The disappearance of the forests, natural moisture collectors and responsible for the recharge of the aquifers, together with the increase in the extraction of water reserves to supply the growing population and agriculture, led to a sharp decline in the islands’ groundwater reserves.
Photo: Jorge Caceres
From the Foundation we want to support and promote the protection and conservation of the terrestrial flora and vegetation and of our landscapes. We believe in the importance of actions such as reforestation, repopulation, protection of spaces, creation of native gardens or any other type of initiative aimed at recovering, conserving and protecting the Canary Islands’ plant heritage, and with it our landscapes, our ecosystems and our water reserves.