Alien Invasive Species in South Africa

There are 559 Alien Invasive Species (AIS), and all are listed in the NEMBA Regulations, in 4 Categories. These include invasive animals, plants and microbes.

  • Of the 559 AIS, 383 species are Invasive Alien Plants (IAPs).

  • These plants have already invaded about 10% of the area of South Africa, and they are spreading exponentially.

  • IAPs cost South Africa more than R600 million annually to manage.

  • IAPs consume vast quantities of water – an estimated 695 million m³ annually.

  • The South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) currently runs the very successful IAP management programme known as Working for Water (WfW), which began in 1995.

  • IAPs are the single biggest threat to biodiversity, second only to humans and their activities.

Cortaderia jubata - Pampas grass [Cat 1b]

Cover Image: Eichhornia crassipes - Water hyacinth [Cat 1b]