Evaluating the invasion risk of mammals listed under Cat 1a on NEMBA

Evaluating the invasion risk of mammals listed under Cat 1a on NEMBA
M. Timia SANCHEZ ALCOCER1,2, Colleen T. Downs2, Sabrina Kumschick1,3
1Invasive Species Programme, South African National Biodiversity Institute
2School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg
3Centre for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch

Little is known about the invasiveness of exotic mammals in South Africa. Consequently this study will review the invasiveness of the four Category 1a mainland mammal species on the NEMBA lists for South Africa (published in August 2014), two of which are listed only in KwaZulu-Natal: the Patas monkey (Erythrocebus patas) and grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis); and the bongo (Tragelaphus euryceros) and lesser kudu (Tragelaphus imberbis). This study will elucidate the reasoning behind the listing of these species as Category 1a in KZN, as the record of the mammal stakeholder meeting does not include any of these species in this invasive category. The invasion risk of the different species will be evaluated using a generic impact scoring system (GISS). A detailed literature search will be conducted, but as very little information is available for the antelope species information on related species may be used as well. The aim of this study is to establish whether or not these species would be able to invade, and if populations become naturalized, what risks they would pose to South African biodiversity. Once all the information is gathered, a risk assessment document will be developed for each of the species. The risk assessments will follow the format requested by the Department of Environmental Affairs, which will include distribution maps where possible. The results from this study will allow scientifically informed decisions on whether to recommend upholding the Category 1a NEMBA listings, or to recommend listing in another category, or not at all.