Alien species in South Africa's national parks

01 February 2012

Invasive alien species (IAS) are one of the major threats to biodiversity in protected areas, and pose a significant management challenge (e.g. Pyšek et al. 2002, Allen, Brown & Stohlgren 2009). One of the first steps towards managing IAS in protected areas is establishing which alien species are present, followed by on-going surveillance and prevention efforts to combat new introductions (Foxcroft et al. 2009). Information on the identity of alien species is also needed to conduct risk assessments to prioritize species for control, as well as to monitor management effectiveness in preventing introductions and containing alien species expansion (McGeoch et al. 2010). Here we provide lists of alien plant and animal species for South Africa’s 19 national parks (including marine protected areas). These lists are intended to serve as a baseline (i) against which future improvements in knowledge of the alien fauna and flora in SANParks may be compared, and (ii) for future monitoring of the success of alien species prevention 31 and control (Foxcroft 2009, McGeoch et al. in press).