Boju-Straja Mare population of Serratula wolffii

This population was known since 1877 when G. Wolff mentioned the species from here but the local reminiscent population remained unknown until 2006 when it was accidentally rediscovered by Al. S. Badarau during a fieldwork with the students from Faculty of Environmental Science of Babes-Bolyai University

The plant was mentioned as frequent around the railway tunnel nearby Boju railway station by G. Wolff in 1877 but the plant became so rare due to winter grazing over the meadow-steppe grasslands that despite the extensive investigations in the area since 1987 provided by Al.S. Badarau and his colleagues it was recovered accidentally only in 2006. The number of the individuals in the area is only 7 (a reminiscent population) illustrating very well the factors that lead to the extinction of this species which is extremely sensitive. The first one is the sheep grazing in the area in between october - april each year and also mowing (which is dine in jully while the plant flowers in august and spreads its fruits only in september).

Nevertheless the sheep overgrazing will become permanent since the traditional management of the fields and grasslands is about to be destroyed. The extensive meadows from here belong to the village of Cojocna but here is about to become"extinct" the last generation of 'traditional peasants' very attached to the old ways of managing the land resocurces. Their children, most of them living today in Cluj-Napoca or other cities are indifferent to this and are not anymore small farmers. So they prefer to give their patches of hayfields from the meadow-steppe grasslands to the new industrial sheep owners for some money (in between 200 - 300 RON / ha). This will lead to the destruction of the structure of the grassland ecosystems and to the dissappearance of the local populations of many rare species - the most important ones from our point of view being Serratula wolffii, Serratula lycopifolia and Bulbocodium versicolor.

However due to the presence of the second species, a prioritary one on the European list the two remained patches of well preserved meadow-steppe grasslands must be declared NATURA 2000 sites immediately.



















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