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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

Current status of Melaleuca and Callistemon as introduced species in South Africa

Current status of Melaleuca and Callistemon as introduced species in South Africa
Llewellyn Jacobs1,2,3, David M. Richardson2, John R. Wilson1,2
1Centre  for  Invasion  Biology,  Stellenbosch  University;  2Invasive  Species  Programme,  SANBI; 3CapeNature

Accurate invasive alien species lists are an important prerequisite for the effective management of invasive alien plants. However, the compilation of such lists is prone to a range of errors, e.g. misidentification, not  recognizing synonymy. We  present  an  update  of  the  status  of  potentially invasive Melaleuca and Callistemon species in South Africa and explore the errors that have been perpetuated in the listing of species in these taxa. Melaleuca parvistaminea is now clearly invasive, with a distribution over 9000 ha, although another occurrence is suspected in the Tokai plantation in Table Mountain National Park (identification not yet confirmed) but this will not hinder the proposed eradication plan. Melaleuca quinquenervia is highly invasive in other countries, but not so in South Africa. However, two confirmed instances of naturalisation and six records of other plantings across the country are reason for concern. Both species have historically had synonymy issues, prompting a closer look at identification of South African material. We also suspect errors in the listing of at least other two species (Callistemon rigidus and M. armillaris) which calls for a careful review of records of taxa in these genera. Many other species have records of naturalisation, especially in the Western Cape. We provide an overview of these records.  There are, however, several other introduced species with no record of invasions yet.  We discuss possible reasons for this and the potential for horticultural species in the group to be considered as low invasion risk.

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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


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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