Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pereskia eradication in Amangwe Forest

Amangwe Forest is near Kwambonambi in Zululand, near Richards Bay, and is a beautiful Indigenous Coastal Lowland Forest (the two dark green lung-like patches in the aerial pic below)
It is part of the unplanted areas owned by Mondi and they manage it to conserve the amazing biodiversity and special type of vegetation that it contains. There are rare and vulnerable species of plants, birds and animals that exist here. Managing the forest involves a large amount of alien invasive plant control, and particularly Pereskia aculeate.

I won't go into detail, but this is a nasty plant that creeps up into the canopies, and teams have to pull it down and put it into piles, spray it with herbacide, AND then burn it. When the leaves drop to the ground they reproduce, so it is no good just chopping the plant down.

The team is mainly made up of women, and they do a tough days work! They come across snakes, bugs and all sorts of creatures doing their job, never mind the back breaking physical work it involves.
I just thought I would post a few pics, as I have neglected blog posting horribly... happily because I am really busy and have some great projects and interesting work on the go, but I need to keep some info flowing here too.
Maryann Shaw