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The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) is running a series of invasive species training days. These courses are aimed at knowledgeable plant people in horticultural societies, garden clubs and conservancies.

Rose-ringed parakeets (Psittacula krameri) are the most invasive parrot species in the world and have already invaded 35 countries on five continents. In South Africa, the first sightings were noted in the 1970’s with strongholds predominantly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Centre for Invasion Biology (C.I.B) researcher, Charles Griffiths, is a co-author on a recently-published study that shows major changes in the invertebrate community of a small, urban estuary resulting from the proliferation of alien reef-building worms, Ficopomatus enigmaticus.

Protected areas (PAs) are a key intervention for conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services. A major challenge for PAs is the control of invasive alien plants that spread into PAs from surrounding areas such as forestry plantations. The links between invasions and different plantation sources are poorly understood, making it difficult to assign responsibilities for control costs.

A number of multi-stakeholder information forum meetings will be held around the country. The purpose of these forums is to explain the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act – Alien & Invasive Species Regulations which were gazetted on 1 August 2014. On the agenda will be topics on compliance and permitting.

In the latest eNewsletter of the Southern African Plant Invaders Atlas (SAPIA News No 35, January 2015), Lesley Henderson highlights the devastating invasion of torch cactus in the Karoo. “The Karoo was taken over by the sweet prickly pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) 100 years ago. Is history repeating itself?”, asks Henderson.

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