ERYNGIUM ALPINUM: A THREATENED SPECIES
Eryngium alpinum, commonly known as alpine sea holly, is one of the species typically found in the Alps.
It grows in France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy, but – through constant decline – it has reached critical levels. In the past two decades, about two-thirds of the species has disappeared.
Wild harvesting and changes in the alpine ecosystem are largely to blame. In 2012 Eryngium alpinum was added to the Red List of Threatened Species managed by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), becoming a priority in terms of conservation.
In order to encourage effective conservation measures in the Swiss Alps, the Klorane Botanical Foundation has made a four-year commitment (2013-2016) with Pro Natura, a Swiss association founded in the early 1900s that aims to protect the country’s nature.
Together these two institutions have set up a constructive and participative programme for the alpine ecosystem in order to protect and increase nine important alpine sea holly locations. This includes not only measures that manage and protect biodiversity, but also partnerships with farmers for the careful use of alpine areas. In the long term, service contracts (between cantons and farmers) will also be set up so that existing conservation measures become sustainable and long lasting.