History, status, and effectiveness of species-based management in South Africa

History, status, and effectiveness of species-based management in South Africa
Haylee KAPLAN1, Jorge Renteria1,2, Philip Ivey1, Brian W. van Wilgen3, John R. Wilson1,3
1Invasive Species Programme, South African National Biodiversity Institute, Kirstenbosch Research Centre, Cape Town
2 Department of Biological Sciences, University of KwaZulu Natal, Pietermaritzburg
3 Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch 

South Africa’s NEMBA Alien and Invasive Species Regulations require that plans to manage all listed invasive species be developed and reported on in the national status report. While the NEMBA Regulations are largely based around listing species, much of the management has been focussed on controlling areas. The rationale for this area-based approach is to protect key natural resources, but under certain circumstances targeting specific species of concern for management is necessary and preferable. Here we describe instances where species-based management is effective focussing on species-specific goals and management approaches. We review the history and application of these species-based approaches and give examples of their effective implementation globally (e.g. Australia’s Weeds of National Significance; USA Department of Forestry’s Slow-the-Spread project). Several types of species-based management are used in South Africa, including biological control, eradication, prevention, pre-border risk assessment and containment. This paper assesses the current status of South Africa’s species-based management for all listed invasive taxa.  It aims to identify key operational, political and environmental/biological elements that might have influenced the management success of these particular species; we only consider management plans that aim to protect or restore biodiversity (i.e. excluding agricultural pests). Based on this assessment we make recommendations for improvement of species-based management in order to fulfil the requirements and intent of NEMBA.