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Mossel Bay
29th November 2023
Community & LivingNature & NurtureNews

Great Brak Conservancy: Rooting out Aliens

Invasive alien plant species are quietly taking over our country, costing our economy billions every year. These invasive alien plants are depleting our country’s water supply, intensifying wildfires, reducing productivity of agricultural land and threaten biodiversity of fauna and flora significantly.
Here along the Garden Route we know too well the implications that alien invasive plant species like pine, Australian Acacias and eucalyptus can have on wildfires. In the 2017 Knysna fire and the latest George wildfires fuel load was dramatically increased by the presence of alien invasive vegetation. Fuel loads can increase by up to 60% in infected areas thus supporting fires of increased severity. An increase in severity in temperature of wildfires can have a knock on effect, resulting in existing indigenous seed reserves being burnt. These sterile areas are now prone to soil erosion as well as further invasion by alien invasive plants. Wild fires spurred on by alien invasive plant species are not only a threat to our local biodiversity and environment but are a direct threat to human livelihood and life. By eliminating certain alien invasive plant species from around one’s home and property one can significantly decrease risk when it comes to wildfires.
Here in Great Brak River the main alien invasive plant species are Pine, Lantana, Pampas Grass, eucalyptus, blackberry, Madera vine, cactus pear and the Australian Acacias (blackwood, black wattle, rooikrans and port jackson). In the Great Brak River system that already has a limited flow rate we should be doing all we can to eliminate these water guzzlers from our estuary and river system.
The Great Brak River Conservancy would like to further its alien invasive plant clearing projects this year. We will be continuing the eradication of Pampas Grass in and along the Wolwedans dam trail as well as organising community hack groups along the Estuary and River banks. If you would like to be a part of the solution when it comes to eliminating alien invasive plant species from the Great Brak River area please contact Scott Thomson at scottjonathanthomson@gmail.com or 044 620-3449. The Conservancy also has a monthly market stall from where we can help the private land owner with information regarding best methods of alien clearing and answer questions regarding alien invasive plant species.
Join us on Saturday the 9th of February at 10:30 at the Great Brak Municipality building parking lot for a walk up the Wolwedans dam trail to learn more about how alien invasive plant species are affecting our river system.

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