Invasive species are defined as an introduced organism into a new area through anthropogenic means (either intentional or accidental) which is not indigenous to the landform. Once in a relocated area, the species spread rapidly due to the absence of natural predators and are able to outcompete indigenous species for resources. In terms of plant species, alien invasive species are able to outcompete native species for soil nutrients, water and sunlight. This can lead to the introduced species altering natural ecology and environment of the surrounding area resulting in ecological degradation and often cause native species to become endangered or extinct.
As the majority of invasive species in South Africa were introduced intestinally either for pest control measures, sports (such as large mouth bass, carp ad trout) or for ornamental purposes (such as pompom weed, and lantana), it is important for the public to understand related impacts, what makes a specie invasive and how to manage exotic plants within a residential area to limit spread and colonization into the natural environment.
The following concise methods are proposed to limit the spread of alien species into the natural environment:
Avoid foreign species from entering South Africa;
Ensure species purchased for aesthetic garden value is not an invasive species (i.e. Does not have the ability to outcompete native species and spread rapidly);
When traveling, ensure materials and clothes have been thoroughly washed and cleared of possible seeds.
When boating, ensure the boat and trailer is cleaned thoroughly before being transported to a different body of water; and
Do not release aquarium fish or plants into water bodies or other exotic animals into the wild.
ENVASS has a holistic approach to all matters pertaining to the environment and consequently, ensuring that aspects impacting on the environment are taken into account. As part of our scientific approach to alien invasive species identification, mapping, control, and eradication – we conduct biodiversity assessments on indigenous vegetation in conjunction with alien invasive surveys. Biodiversity assessments are important as part of an alien invasive management plan due to the threat posed by aliens to biodiversity. By knowing how species-diverse a particular site is, one can determine the significance of the threat by aliens and react accordingly.
ENVASS as a multi-disciplinary service provider comprises of several experienced consultants within diverse divisions who can assist with related Biodiversity and Alien Invasive Assessment in addition to associated management plans. If you require a solution-driven proposal for these services, please do not hesitate to contact our highly qualified specialists at ENVASS on 012 460 9768 or firstname.lastname@example.org