A new Alien in our midst: Kangaroo Thorn
From our work with all our BWI members, we are acutely aware that is it the control of invasive alien plant species on farms that represents one of the biggest (and most expensive) challenges to the conservation of biodiversity in our winelands.
In an effort to keep you all informed about the threats posed by alien plant invasion and to subsequently help counter these threats, we at the BWI would like to introduce you to a relative newcomer in the alien plant family, Acacia paradoxa - the Kangaroo Thorn.
As the name alludes to, this tree is yet another visitor from Australia and much like their visiting sports teams to this part of the world, it feels right at home here and is doing rather well. Fortunately for us (at the moment) the invasion is limited to a small population on Devils Peak in the Table Mountain National Park and work is underway to eradicate this pest. As with most Acacia species, the plant’s distribution is aided by fire events and there is a sizeable seed bank in this area.
Through the use of a bioclimatic model, it can be seen that the plant has the potential to spread along the southern coast in particular and across South Africa in general.
Good work is being done to contain the spread at the moment, but please be aware of our responsibilities as land owners and stewards of the fynbos biome and that failing to control seemingly innocent invasive exotic plants can have catastrophic outcomes.