Have you seen the Tulipa in flower this year and whicjh date it was ???
Today I went to the spot and ther where some hunters in their 'turret'. They called me out and I replied that I am searching for Tulipa. They first replied that it did not flower this season, and then after a 3 minute conversation, they forgot the first excuse and said that people came to cut them yesterday.
I still persisted and went to the area, and the Tulipa decreased tremendously, as if it is being dug out. I am very sure that these hunters dislike the tulipa since it brings 'nasty' peole stepping on their soles & sins.
Then I went to the second location, in a private field also with a turret adjoined by a big cage. I believed the owner was not there and jumped in. The vegetation was all slashed to 3-5cm from the ground, most tulipa leaves were half cut away. Flowering stalks with the flower missing were seen numerously. I exlpored the area too long as I heard and saw an old man coming towards the field! I remembered the red crosses and so it was not the time to negotiate.
Like a fox, I managed to jump safe two fields above and hid after a tree. He did not notice me, tough I followed every step he made - ie watering/feeding the birds in the cage. After half an hour or so, he left thinking to be alone. I explored the area above this field (which looked wild) but no tulips.
If I ask Mepa to protect the area they will pee on their feet since we are dealing with hunters. They hide their pee with the comment -> we are not worried since the bulbs are left intact. If it is in the red data book, then the whole plant should be protected - tell me if I am reasoning wrong!
Well a sad, empty-handed story. If you can help me to locate another safe population of Tulipa for next year please sms/email/pm me.
Well, not really empty handed as I way back, I came across what loks to be a Vicia sative without the black spot at the stipules.
I do not think that it was a good idea to tell the hunters what you were looking for, for the same reason you gave yourself.
Better to keep a low profile.
MEPA or no MEPA, if these plants are a nuisance to the landowners/hunters due to visitors, etc, then it would take just moments for them to totally eradicate the "problem", bye bye forever.
Similar to the Iris p. pop over Gnejna, right by 2 bird trapping sites.
Valleys are no different from any other land in Malta or Gozo, and as such may be public (ie Government owned, strictly speaking) or private land.
Much land that we take for granted to be public land, is often private land but land that the owner may not care much about enforcing his rights. I do not know the ratio of public-private land in the Maltese Islands, and quite frankly I don't think anyone does.
This is what I think although I am definitely no expert on micropropagation - In general I say no micropropagation unless absolutely necessary - eg for growing orchids from seeds in vitro. However, although perhaps not absolutely necessary micropropagation may also be very useful in the case of Tulipa
If bulbs are available they could be grown normally under nursery conditions (pots/beds)- the resulting flowers could be cross fertilised and the seeds produced sown to produce plants which can then be transplanted to a suitable area (although I am afraid they will take long to flower when grown from seed)- in this way genetic variation is retained.
Propagating from bulbs and micropropagation only produces clones of the parent plant
However if enough "different" bulbs are available, micropropagation could be useful to produce larger numbers of plants of each clone (and therfore reduced risks from mortality etc) that can act as stock from which seed can than be raised through crossing different clones.
HSBC have sponsored Tulip micropropagation, but where are the results?
BTW, I went again to the valley, and probably have found a 3rd small population of Tulips (also flowerless) but not much in private land.
RB - it is really bad if even valeys can be owned by private peolple.
To the best of my knowledge, the only place where public access is guaranteed irrespective of ownership is up to 3m from the foreshore. But then I'm no lawyer, and hell, try to walk through a private beach to "test" that.
May interest you to know that (current status unknown) until not so very long ago Comino in its entirety was private, too.
It's no different elsewhere, except in SOME more civilised countries the public has right of way through ESTABLISHED paths, ie you can't just walk through a field and say you have a right to do so.