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Dr Iain Paterson
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Fighting against invader cacti together

Date Released: Thu, 16 November 2017 13:06 +0200

Alien, invasive cacti have become a serious threat in many parts of Namibia and the Botanical Society of Namibia is seriously concerned about what damage these species that are so easily dispersed by birds and animals, can inflict on the environment.

In this vein, the society invited Dr Iain Paterson, an expert in biological control of invaders from the Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown to visit Windhoek to give an informative presentation on the results and success of these methods of control in South Africa.

The presentation takes place at the Scientific Society in Robert Mugabe Ave. at 10:00 this morning.

This follows after the society orchestrated three events in Windhoek, encouraging the public to join in initiatives to manually clear invasive plants. While the response was fair given that not too many people are aware of the threatening nature of the plants, it is obvious that manual clearing is only partially possible. Some of the plants are too old and woody to be cleared by hand and the infestation is too great in many areas of the country.

A concerned resident and her team have been making inroads in manually clearing this species from the Aloe Trail and other parts of the Windhoek town area, but it is an ongoing and costly exercise, requiring repeated overseeing of the cleared areas.

Several years ago the City of Windhoek embarked on a controlling project covering about one third of The Aloe Trail, using a specific poison. The treated plants died, giving a certain success rate but unfortunately there was no follow-up process and the plants continued to spread at an alarming rate. This is also very expensive.

Join this mornings’ discussion to look at what can be done. Info: Diana Thompson at nambotsoc@gmail.com.

Source:Windhoek Express