Managing invasive species in Cape Town
Although globalization has many advantages, it also has a downside. While the goods and people are able to move between continents and different countries, exotic plants and animals are also able to move to areas where they do not naturally occur. Organisms arrive at their new destinations without their natural enemies that would keep them under control in their home countries. If those species then adapt to the climatic and environmental conditions in their new destinations, they naturalize and may become invasive. Not all introduced species become invasive, in fact, only a very small percentage of these organisms are problems in their new countries. The staggering ability of harmful pathogens and potential invasive species to move to almost every ecosystem on Earth is alarming.
Metropolitan areas such as the City of Cape Town are particularly vulnerable to the introduction of invasive alien species and harmful pathogens, due to the amount of commodities arriving or passing through for trade and commercial purposes. Urban areas may therefore even act as a source of invasive species to other areas.
In response to the threats posed by invasive species, the City of Cape Town implements different projects to combat terrestrial and aquatic plants, new and emerging invasive species and invasive animals.