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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

Invasive tree pathogens and pests in South Africa: can we stem the tide?

Invasive tree pathogens and pests in South Africa: can we stem the tide?
Jolanda Roux, Michael J. Wingfield
Department of Plant Science, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

The past decade has seen a significant increase in the number of insect pests and plant pathogens (pests) of tree species in South Africa. In the last five years the Myrtaceae rust pathogen, Puccinia psidii, the Cycad Asian Scale (CAS), Aulacaspis yasumatsui, and several damaging insects pests of plantation forestry species appeared in the country. The previously recorded non-native pathogens, Phytophthora cinnamomi and Armillaria mellea has spread into natural environments, threatening native ecosystems.  These, and other pathogens, most likely entered the country on infected plant material and/or soil.

The unregulated trade in non-native ornamental plants is a major contributer to the local spread of pests in South Africa. The spread of CAS, for example, has been accelerated by the nursery and collector’s trade and is resulting in large populations of CAS, posing a threat to the survival of native South African species.

It is crucially important that the South African public be sensitized to the threat that invasive alien pests pose to the natural environment. Here, responsible trade in plants is a key issue.  Quarantine regulations must be emphasised and actively communicated, alongside law enforcement. Experience from other countries has unequivocally illustrated the fact that a failure to take a strong stand on quarantine and the management of the trade in non-native plant species will result in South Africa losing important components of a rich and irreplaceable native plant biodiversity and the associated ecosystems in which this natural resource occurs. 

Read 2930 times Last modified on Tuesday, 03 May 2016 12:23

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


During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group


Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?


On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released


Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

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