CAPE Invasive Alien Animal Working Group

CAPE Invasive Alien Animal Working Group

Who are we?

The CAPE Invasive Alien Animal Working Group (CAPE IAAWG) was established in 2008 to enhance cooperation among stakeholders – such as implementing agencies and researchers – and thereby improve the management of invasive animals in the Greater Cape Floristic Region.

The IAAWG is a valuable forum to improve management effectiveness and support implementation decisions.  Further, it has advanced the understanding of research and the implementation of management objectives.

Source:  Coordinating invasive alien species management in a biodiversity hotspot:  The CAPE Invasive Alien Animals Working Group.  Davies, S.J. et al, Bothalia 50(1) 2020.

Why? ( focus species / area )

The CAPE Invasive Alien Animal Working Group is a multi-staker initiative which seeks to address the gaps between scientific research, development of policy and implementation of management measures.

Meetings are attended by stakeholders from NGOs, universities, and local, provincial and national government agencies as well as private individuals.

Topics of discussion ranged from details of specific alien animal invasions (e.g. the status of the shot hole borer or house crow invasions in Cape Town), to considering the risks posed by broad groups (e.g. earthworms ), to specific management techniques (e.g. guidelines for trapping invasive alien birds).

Our research

Below is a list of presentations given at  The Conservation Symposium (1-5 November, 2021) by members of the Invasive Alien Animal Working Group. The full programme is also available on

FALLOW DEER, RABBITS & CATS: A review of more than a decade of problem-causing animal control on Robben Island by Christopher Wilke (Robben Island Museum)

MALLARDS & HOUSE CROW:   Efforts to protect Cape Town’s natural areas from mallard duck (Anas platyrhynchos) and house crow (Corvus splendens) invasions by Marco Meyer (City of Cape Town)

PAPER WASP & GERMAN WASP:   European paper wasp (Polistes dominula) and German wasp (Vespula germanica) managed by the Invasive Animal Project by Mfundo Tafeni (City of Cape Town)

INVASIVE SHOT HOLE BORER: Managing the polyphagous shot hole borer beetle (Euwallacea fornicatus) and its fungal symbiont (Fusarium euwallaceae) in Somerset West by Phumudzo Ramabulana (City of Cape Town)

INVASIVE FISH:  Common carp (Cyprinus carpio): The ecological engineers of Lake Groenvlei by Johnny Snyman (Invasive Fish Species Management)

INVASION BIOLOGY: New techniques and technologies for invasive alien species control – gathering speed and momentum by Dr. Andrew Turner (CapeNature)

COMMUNICATION:  Brochures alone won’t do it: Communication and conflict in invasive alien species management projects by Dr. Sarah Davies (Mouse-Free Marion Island Project)


    •  Efforts to contain the spread of the guttural toad (Sclerophrys gutturalis) in the south-western Cape by Marco Meyer (City of Cape Town)
    • The humble guttural toad (Sclerophrys gutturalis): Lessons of plasticity and adaptation following invasion by Prof. John Measey (Stellenbosch

Student bursaries

Interested in monitoring sites which offer bursaries to enter the field of invasion biology? Keep a lookout for opportunities at these sites:

South African National Biodiversity Institute 

Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment

Centre of Excellence for Invasion Biology, Stellenbosch University

Centre for Biological Control, Rhodes University

Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria


Meetings are held three times a year.

7 April, 2022 (09h30-13h00) – Chaired by Julia Wood

21 July, 2022 (09h30-13h00) – Chaired by Andrew Turner

3 November 2022 (09h30-13h00) – Session at The Conservation Symposium: Co-chaired by Julia Wood and Andrew Turner

Get in contact:

Chair: Co-chairs: Julia Wood (City of Cape Town) and Andrew Turner (CapeNature)

Secretary: Kay Montgomery