Invasive Management Plan for Oubosstrand and Protea farm
du Preez, L
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The human population is growing rapidly and progressively more natural landscapes are altered to provide area for food production and housing. Only recently scientists and conservationists have come to realise that there is an immediate threat to earth’s biodiversity. Invasive aliens are now recognized as the second most significant threat to biodiversity following direct habitat destruction. Most invasive plants were imported for seemingly valid reasons, such as dune stabilization, commercial forestry, horticulture, garden plants and fodder. The indigenous forests in South Africa, at George and Knysna, were heavily exploited for timber for approximately 200 years. Only later did the government, of the time, realized that the forests were disappearing under the onslaught. There occurred a great need to conserve and effectively manage the remaining forest areas. Thus fast growing alien timber species were planted at large scale to replace the harvesting of indigenous trees. Many of these timber species are now invading the natural areas around the plantations. We are only now starting to identify the consequences of past ignorance and neglect. Oubos-Grootriver Natuurresevaat Aandeleblok (Pty) Ltd, consists of Oubosstrand (holiday resort) and the farm called Protea. It is situated on the coast of the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. The Tsitsikamma National Park, boarders on the study site (to the west), and conserves a considerable portion of the natural biota of the Garden Route. The primary vegetation biomes consist of Mountain Fynbos, Coastal Fynbos and Afromontane Forest. Oubosstand is infested with Acacia cyclops (Rooikrans) and Protea farm is invaded by Acacia mearnsii (Black Wattle), Acacia melanoxylon (Blackwood), Acacia cyclops (Rooikrans), Pinus pinaster (Cluster Pine) and Hakea sericea (Silky Hakea). The integrated method (mechanical, chemical and biological) of controlling invasive alien plants is the most effective way to ensure long-term results.