Effective management plans in place to prevent new biological invasions and to manage important areas for plant diversity that are invaded
Contributors: P. Ivey & D. Raimondo
As of 2010 South Africa had 8 750 introduced plant taxa; 660 of which are recorded as naturalised and 198 that are included in invasive species legislation (revised regulations still to be passed into law list 381 plant species as invasive), but only 60 of these are subject to regular control. Biological invasions are a major threat to biodiversity and economic livelihoods in South Africa. Nationally it was estimated (2008 prices) that losses to the following values occur as a result of invasive alien plants:
Loss of available water – ± R8 billion.
Loss of grazing – ± R450 million.
The management of widely established invasive plants has been led by the Working for Water Programme (WfW) since its establishment in 1995. South Africa also has a long history of controlling invasive species through introductions of biological control agents. Biocontrol agents are established for 48 invasive alien plant species.
In 2008 an Invasive Species Programme was established at the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), funded by the Working for Water Programme, to specifically tackle early detection of new alien invaders, conduct risk assessments for post-border introductions and to work on eradication of alien species that have just started to expand their ranges.
Target 10 outcomes for 2020
10.1. Invasive Species Programme effectively detecting and documenting new invasions, providing reliable post-border risk assessments and coordinating implementation of national eradication plans.
10.2. Important areas for plant diversity receiving priority attention by invasive alien clearing programmes.
As part of this Strategy for Plant Conservation, South Africa’s network of botanists is committed to assist with invasive species management by focusing on two areas:
10.1. Supporting the development of capacity of the SANBI Invasive Species Programme to facilitate detection and monitoring of invasive alien plants, to support information gathering for more accurate risk assessments of the majority of naturalised species, and to be actively working on eradicating species that have just started to expand their range. The programme will continue to work with the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) to strengthen pre-border biosecurity to prevent legal, illegal, intentional and unintentional introductions of potentially invasive species from other countries into South Africa (Wilson et al. 2013).
10.2. Identify important areas for plant diversity (Target 5) that are currently most threatened by invasive alien plants. Prioritise these areas of the country as those that most need invasive species management through government-supported management programmes. Assist with the development and implementation of Invasive Species Monitoring, Eradication and Control plans of these high priority areas.
|Target 10: Effective management plans in place to prevent new biological invasions and to manage important areas for plant diversity that are invaded|
|10.1. Invasive Species Programme effectively detecting and documenting new invasions, providing reliable post-border risk assessments and coordinating implementation of national eradication plans.||10.1.1. Status of invasive species with limited distribution monitored.||
10.1.1. SANBI and partners.
|10.1.2. Clearly understood process to prevent legal introductions developed and implemented.||10.1.2. Biosecurity Division within the DEA.||10.1.2. 2017|
|10.1.3. 125 initial risk assessments conducted.||10.1.3. SANBI Invasive Species Programme.||10.1.3. 2016|
|10.1.4. Management plans developed for species requiring compulsory control to ensure eradication, with overt goals and timelines included.||10.1.4. SANBI Invasive Species Programme.||10.1.4. Ongoing|
|10.2. Important areas for plant diversity receiving priority attention by invasive alien clearing programmes.||10.2.1. Areas important for plant diversity based on concentrations of range-restricted, endemic and threatened taxa identified (Target 5).||10.2.1. SANBI Threatened Species Programme||10.2.1. 2016|
|10.2.2. Areas of alien infestation identified by Kotze et al. (2010) overlaid with areas important for plant diversity and priority catchments for alien clearing identified.||10.2.2. Postgraduate Conservation Biology Student||10.2.2. 2016–2017|
|10.2.3. Invasive Species Monitoring, Eradication and Control plans for these high priority areas developed and being implemented.||10.2.3. SANBI Invasive Species Programme in partnership with Working for Water Programme||10.2.3. 2017–2020|