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Invasive Species South Africa - Protecting Biodiversity from Invasion - Items filtered by date: January 2017

The City of Cape Town’s Invasive Species Unit has launched a competition with great prizes for anyone spotting any of the 28 targeted invasive species in the City.

The competition runs until 9 April, 2017, and is being run as part of the City’s Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) initiative.

EDRR is a critical defence against the establishment of invasive species populations. This initiative hopes to increase the likelihood that localized invasive populations will be found, contained, and eradicated before they become widely established.

The City of Cape Town has 28 listed targeted invasive species which are the main focus of the EDRR programme. The 28 target EDRR invasive species are:

1 Devil's Beard (Centranthus ruber)

2. Spanish broom (Spartium junceum)

3. Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum)

4. German Wasp/Yellow Jacket Wasp (Vespula germanica)

5. Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia)

6. Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana)

7. European Paper Wasp (Polistes dominula)

8. Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

9. Montpellier broom/ French Broom (Genista monspessulana)

10. Sweet hakea (Hakea drupacea)

11. Australian cheesewood, Sweet Pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum)

12. Pepper tree wattle (Acacia elata)

13. Yellow flag iris (Iris pseudacorus)

14. Blue bell creeper (Billardiera heterophylla)

15. Barbados gooseberry (Pereskia aculeate)

16. Wild Sunflower (Verbesina encelioides)

17. Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)

18. Pompom weed (Campuloclinium macrocephalum)

19. Pearl acacia (Acacia podalyriifolia)

20. Chandelier plant (Bryophyllum delagoense)

21. Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)

22. Red flowering tea tree (Melaleuca hypericifolia)

23. Balloon vine (Cardiospermum grandiflorum)

24. Hop Wattle (Acacia stricta)

25. Screw Pod Wattle (Acacia implexa)

26. Kangaroo wattle (Acacia paradoxa)

27. Bloodberry (Rivina humilis)

28. Yellow water lily (Nymphaea mexicana)

Find images and information regarding the full list of 28 target EDRR invasive species at... www.capetowninvasives.org.za

Enter the competition today!

Help us to spot any of Cape Town's 28 targeted invasive species! And stand a chance of winning fabulous prizes.

How to enter?

Go to the competition post on the Cape Town Invasive Species Facebook page or click on this link https://www.facebook.com/ctinvasives/posts/1263255787073918

Then follow these three easy steps below….

Step 1 - Share this post and like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ctinvasives  to enter the competition.

Step 2 - Visit www.capetowninvasives.org.za  and register as a spotter.

Step 3 - Start spotting... and report (by uploading the GPS coordinates) the location of any of the 28 targeted invasive species listed on Cape Town's EDRR (Early Detection Rapid Response) List!

Stand a chance of winning two nights in the Montispectus Cabin, Blaauwberg Nature Reserve.

The competition ends on 9 April 2017...

For queries, send an email to Phumudzo Ramabulana at

Don’t miss out. 


1. Unwelcome invader. The pink-red to white flowers of the devil's beard (Centranthus ruber) occur in dense clusters. It is on Cape Town’s target list of invasive species and listed under NEMBA as a Category 1b invader in the Western Cape.

2. Serious invader. Spanish broom (Spartium junceum) can produce up to 12,000 seeds per plant – making it difficult to control them once established. You are advised to be on the lookout for this fast spreading invader and upload the GPS coordinates of any sighting to the Spotter Network website (www.capetowninvasives.org.za).

3. Category 1b invader. Fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum) is often seen invading roadsides, grasslands, coastal areas and rocky ridges.

4. The German wasp is also a medium-sized wasp (15mm to 40mm) with yellow and black markings on the abdomen, but it has black antennae. Please report them to www.edrr.co.za and our teams will get in touch with you to assist you.

5. Report it. Madeira vine (Anredera cordifolia) has started smothering milkwood trees (Sideroxylon inerme) in the Noordhoek area, which are classified as one of South Africa’s protected trees.

6. Remove this invader. Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) spreads through seeds and underground stems, forming large clumps which smother indigenous fynbos species.

7. The European paper wasp is a medium-sized wasp (20mm to 35mm) with wavy yellow and black markings on the abdomen and orange antennae.

8. Problematic tree. Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima)’s rapid growth and aggressive root system posed a threat to urban infrastructure. It also produced a chemical known as ailanthone that prevented the growth of other plant species.

9. Report this plant. Montpellier broom/ French Broom (Genista monspessulana) threatens the Western Cape’s unique fynbos biome. Help fight the spread of invasive species in the Western Cape by reporting Montpellier broom to Cape Town’s Invasive Species Unit.

10. Dense spreading invader. Sweet hakea (Hakea drupacea) is extremely flammable invasive and it seeds is able to survive intense heat and fires and seedlings can be found in profusion after a fire event.

11. Threatening to fynbos. Australian cheesewood, Sweet Pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum) can fruit heavily and seeds are eaten by a wide range of birds, which spread it across the city.

12. Reduces biodiversity. Pepper tree wattle (Acacia elata) is a fast growing, profusely seeding, long lived species invading mostly urban open spaces, roadsides, fynbos and forest clearings. Report any sightings of this invader to Cape Town’s website – www.capetowninvasives.org.za.