Protecting biodiversity by managing alien plants in national parks: perspectives from South Africa and Australia
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Conservation of biodiversity, in all its facets and fluxes, is the primary motivation for the development of protected areas. However, designating land as a protected area does not necessarily result in the conservation of biodiversity, as a range of threats to biodiversity may still be active. For example, invasive alien plants pose a significant threat to biodiversity position, structure and function,irrespective of protected area status. Thus the threat of invasive species to biodiversity needs to be addressed as part of a holistic conservation strategy for any protected area. Such a holistic approach must not only consider the invasive species within such areas, but also those species that transcend park boundaries. Here we describe the approaches developed by two organisations that manage protected areas, namely, South Africa’s Kruger National Park and the National Parks of New South Wales Australia, and detail their progress towards the management of invasive alien plants for conservation. The key components of the various management frameworks are presented here to illustrate how each has independently addressed the problem of alien plant management and how components from each could be used collectively.