The City of Cape Town’s Invasive Species programme – a collaboration between the City’s Environmental Resource Management, Parks, and Roads and Stormwater departments – will deploy teams to remove invader plant species in the southern suburbs this week.
The clearing of invasive plants will take place in Constantia, Tokai, Westlake, Lakeside, Muizenberg and Clovelly. Clearing will also take place along the banks of the Prinseskasteel, Keyser and Westlake Rivers.
Approximately 20 workers will be deployed. Clearing work commenced on Tuesday 13 September 2011 and will continue for a period of eight weeks. The City plans to conduct follow-up clearing operations in March/April 2012 to make sure that all invasions are under control.
Identifying invader plants
The City’s Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) team has worked with the country’s top botanists, taxonomists and invasion biology specialists to identify potentially problematic invader plant populations. By removing these invader populations quickly, the City hopes to mitigate negative impacts on local flora, contain the potential for costly removals, and control population explosions.
Swift action is the key to halting the invasion of plants that produce copious offspring and spread at rapid rates to dominate local landscapes. The aim is to remove these plants whilst they are still relatively small and localised, thereby protecting the future biodiversity of the Cape Peninsula.
Teams will use integrated methods to remove aquatic, terrestrial and emerging invader weeds. Herbicides will not be used as the breeding season of the Western Leopard Toad is underway. Special care will be taken at breeding sites to ensure that the toads are not negatively impacted.
Call to motorists
Invasive plants will be cleared as part of a local community partnership in Clovelly. In this area, the objective is to bring the area under control to make it easier for volunteers to maintain the level of invasive plants in the future.
In the Westlake and Muizenberg area, work will commence on Boyes Drive and Old Boyes Drive. As teams will be working to remove branches on road verges in areas with dangerous blind spots, motorists are asked to please drive carefully and keep within speed limits.
Work will also take place on Erf 13087 opposite the Westlake Golf Course and next to Stonehurst Estate. The area has been partially cleared and the aim is to follow up on earlier work and clear the remaining sections of the property.
The Cape Town Early Detection and Rapid Response programme is funded by the South African National Biodiversity Institute which implements a National EDRR Programme for plant invasions on behalf of Working for Water, National Resource Management Programmes, and the Department of Environmental Affairs.
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