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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

In order to tackle our country’s socio-economic challenges, the government adopted the Outcomes based approach to improve government performance and providing focus on service delivery. find out more

Book Reviews (2)

Saturday, 26 January 2013 18:29

Alien and invasive animals: a South African perspective

Written by

While alien plants have been well-publicised, Alien & Invasive Animals, by Mike Picker and Charles Griffiths is the first book to be published on alien animals in Africa. With a list more than 300 invasive animals that have settled in South Africa, this book describes the history of each invasion, and the ecological and economic impacts in South Africa; and it discusses the effect of introduced biocontrol agents (usually insects), which are also alien species released deliberately to control problem plants.

Invaded Leonie Joubert

Invaded – the biological invasion of South Africa is a well-researched and written account of plant and animal invasions in South Africa. The book is beautifully illustrated with colour photographs throughout. The layout is neat and easy to follow, with numerous informative boxes highlighting subjects of particular interest. Leonie Joubert is an accomplished author and has also written two award-winning titles on climate change – Scorched: South Africa’s changing climate and Boiling point: People in a changing climate.

 The rapid advance of human exploration and travel across the globe over the last few centuries has aided numerous seeds and stowaways to be transported to new environments. Many species were also intentionally relocated to new places to provide food and shelter for newly settled immigrants. The extraordinary and beautiful plants and flowers generated much interest among botanists and horticulturists who planted these species in gardens and parks in their homelands as well as newly established towns. Certain trees were propagated across the world for timber as they grew faster and denser than indigenous trees. Unfortunately, some of these species found these new environments free of natural predators with suitable conditions leading to rapid expansion – often to the detriment of indigenous species and water resources.

 Invaded – the biological invasion of South Africa is divided into 17 chapters with a foreword written by the late Professor Kader Asmal, former Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry and the driving force behind the Working for Water project – one of the most successful environmental and job creation programmes in South Africa. The 17 chapters discuss the following topics:

  • History and progression of biological invasions.
  • Invasions in the Cape Floral Kingdom.
  • The threat of woody tree invaders on our water resources.
  • Marine invaders such as mussels, oysters and crabs.
  • The invasive Argentine ant.
  • Avian invaders such as the mallard and house crow.
  • Triffid weed and its impact on the Nile crocodile.
  • Spread of invasive plants along servitudes and transportation routes.    
  • Exotic grasses naturalised in South Africa.
  • Eurasian wild pigs.
  • The European wasp.
  • Honeybees and reed frogs.
  • Invasive alien fish and water weeds.
  • Cats and mice on offshore islands.
  • Genetically modified crops and global food security.
  • Strategies to contain invasion.
  • South Africa’s weedy exports.

 The detrimental environmental and economic implications are only now starting to be fully realised and the cost to our economy and water resources has been the subject of many detailed studies. This book is a fantastic resource for students of invasion biology as well as anyone concerned about our environmental and economic future.


TITLE: Invaded – The biological invasion of South Africa

AUTHOR: Leonie Joubert with photographs by Rodger Bosch

PUBLISHER: Wits University Press, 2009

PAGES: 265pp



General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…


This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training


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Invasive species training 2018 dates released


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Communications post for Africa advertised


The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more