Invasive Awareness in Cape Town

Australian bluebell creeper (en.hortipedia.org).

Australian bluebell creeper (en.hortipedia.org).

     Cape Town has launched its "Invasive Species Week" to raise awareness of the 180 alien species present in the area; invasives which include fountain grass, Australian bluebell creeper, yellow water lily and water hyacinth.

     "South Africa's ecosystems deliver services- water from catchments, grazing for animals, and other harvested products- that are worth at least R152 billion (around $11 billion USD) annually," said Professor Brian van Wilgen of Stellenbosch University's Centre for Invasion Biology. "Of this value, we currently lose about R6.5 billion (around $500 million USD) every year due to invading alien plants. If we had not conducted control operations in the past, this would have amounted to an estimated additional R41.7 billion."

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