A Framework for Monitoring the Status of Biological Invasions in South Africa

A Framework for Monitoring the Status of Biological Invasions in South Africa
Sebataolo Rahlao1, Llewellyn C. Foxcroft2,3, Andrew Skowno4
1 Invasives Monitoring and Reporting, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Claremont 7735, South Africa; *presenter
2Conservation Services, South African National Parks, Private Bag X402, Skukuza 1350, South Africa
3Centre for Invasion Biology, Department of Botany and Zoology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, Matieland 7604
4Biodiversity Assessments and Monitoring, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Claremont 7735, South Africa

Despite the threats posed by biological invasions, there have been no comprehensive national monitoring processes to assess the status of this threat. South African has an obligation under the CBD (Aichi Target 9) to identify, prioritize and engage in research and monitoring for management of pathways to prevent IAS introduction and establishment. The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) is required to lead and coordinate research for monitoring and reporting on the state of biodiversity in South Africa. The Essential Biodiversity Variable (EBV) Approach to Monitoring Biological Invasions provides a guide to how countries can develop national observation and monitoring systems for management of biological invasions, and recommends focusing on alien species occurrence and status, and their impacts on biodiversity. We propose a framework and indicators that can serve as the basis of a national monitoring programme, following the EBV approach but broadened in scope to meet South Africa’s needs for monitoring the status of IAS and the effectiveness of its legislative measures for management. We propose the following groups of indicators (1) regulatory (effectiveness of the regulations and other legislation), (2) status of invasions (EBV-based approach), and (3) processes and systems for long-term monitoring. This paper provides a framework for monitoring the status of biological invasions as part of the National Invasives Status report in South Africa.