Hartbeespoort Dam: Current Biological Control Plan for the problematic water hyacinth

Posted on 20 Oct 2020

The Hartbeespoort Dam has a current Biological Control Plan is in place for the problematic water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes).

 

This invasive species is listed as a category 1b invasive species in the new 2020 Alien and Invasive Species Lists as part of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act, 2004 9Act no. 10 of 2004).

 

Within the past few months a notable reduction in hyacinths was noted and as presented in the Kormorant Newspaper Articles: “The death of the hyacinth – biological control or herbicides?”; and “What is next for the hyacinth on Hartbeespoort Dam?”; This programme is led by the Centre for Biological Control as part of the Rhodes University, in conjunction with the Department of Environmental Affairs. The control plan in place is a safe and long term plan without negative effects and it has been in place since 2018. Currently six different species of insects used for the biological control have been introduced and the greatest contribution in stated as  coming from the small planthopper (Megamelus Scutellaris). Currently these insects feed on the plants, causing them to wilt and turn brown as the plant is dying off. It is also stated that the progress of the control has reduced the hyacinth cover to only 2.5%, being the lowest weed cover ever recorded.

 

The current plan can be seen clearly when in the dam, when moving closer to the R512. The following images were taken of the zone underneath the road crossing the Hartbeespoort Dam where the Biological Remediation Zone is present, situated directly north of the West Lake Country & Safari Estate.

 

Photos taken by Wietsche Roets (15/10/2020).

ENVASS is more than able to conduct site visits, identification, listing confirmation and the overall control and management programmes for the property to ensure compliance to the latest laws and regulations. Feel free to contact us on 012 460 9768 or at info@envass.co.za for quotes on any environmentally related services!