Managing Invasive Species in Cities: A Framework from Cape Town, South Africa

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Jul 01, 2016
Mirjiam Gaertner, Brendon M. H. Larson, Ulrike M. Irlich, Patricia M. Holmes, Louise Stafford, Brian W. van Wilgen, and David M. Richardson



Invasive non-native species are often more prevalent in cities than in rural areas because of numerous environmental disturbances and higher propagule pressure. Attempts to manage invasive species in cities are often controversial because of the diversity of stakeholder views. Until now, however, environmental managers in cities have managed invasive species using approaches and paradigms developed for a rural context, despite the radically different socio-environmental conditions that prevail in cities. We examine the case of Cape Town, South Africa, a rapidly growing metropolitan centre within a global biodiversity hotspot and a developing country, to underline the considerable challenges and complexities of managing invasive species in cities. We argue that traditional management approaches need to be supplemented by consideration of stakeholder views and the social consequences of management actions. We present a framework for selecting appropriate goals for the management of invasive species, ranging from eradication to acceptance. 

Read the full article in Landscape and Urban Planning.

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