Why are we disinterested in animal invasions?

08 September 2017

Why are we disinterested in animal invasions?

Invasives in the Cape Discussion Group is a regular discussion group focussing on invasions that are happening within the fynbos. Hosted at the CIB (and usually led by John R. U. Wilson) the group consists of representatives from SANBI, City of Cape Town, CPUT, UWC, ARC, DAFF, DEA, CapeNature, and the CIB. 

Agreeing to cover for John while he was away, I posed the question: Why are we disinterested in animal invasions? The Cape is replete with animal species which we appear to ignore, or prefer not to think about. Can we define why so many animal invasions are not important to us - or define how and when we would definitely do something? This month's meeting will focus on the current suite of animal invasions in the Cape and ask which we should be doing more about.

Despite having a circulation list of 105 people, we were only 6 for the meeting (from left to right): Nitya Mohanty, Florencia Yannelli, Marike Louw, Phil McLean & Sarah Davies. 

Our numbers spoke volumes about the disinterest in invasive animals. 

Nevertheless, we made a list of Cape invasive animals and the reasons why they were not controlled or eradicated. Note that the list isn't exhaustive but gives some indications about why animals are so hard to tackle. First, control of many species were found to have ethical or economic conflicts (C). Invasions of many species were considered to be to far advanced to be feasible to control (F). Whether or not research was needed before a decision on control/eradication could be made (R). Lastly, many of the species are utilised, potentially causing further conflicts with their control.

  Lab  meetings  News

Nitya Invades Scottish Islands

11 July 2017

Nitya presents a poster at Island Invasives Conference

PhD student Nitya Mohanty presents a poster on his work on invasive species of the Andaman Islands at the Island Invasives Conference 2017, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Scotland. Nitya's work was well received with many envious of his idilic island field site in the Bay of Bengal. 

  Frogs  Lab  meetings

Marike shows the aSCR project to ZSSA in Pretoria

04 July 2017

Pretoria falls silent to hear Marike's peninsula moss frog.

MSc student, Marike Louw, presented her aSCR work to an eager audience at the Zoological Society of Southern Africa's (ZSSA) meeting at CSIR Pretoria, South Africa

In this eagerly anticipated talk, Marike layed out her latest findings in the National Geographic sponsored project. 

Also at the ZSSA, Alex Rebelo presented his MSc work on the pyxicephalid radiation. 

Marike Louw, Res Altwegg, Andrew Turner, Jasper Slingsby, Ben Stevenson, David Borchers, & John Measey Densities of Arthroleptella lightfooti across the Cape Peninsula: preliminary results from acoustic spatial capture-recapture. 2017 Combined Congress of the Entomological and Zoological Societies of Southern Africa CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa

Alex Rebelo & John Measey Frog Olympics: exploring the locomotor ecomorphology of the pyxicephalid radiation in southern Africa. 2017 Combined Congress of the Entomological and Zoological Societies of Southern Africa CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa

  aSCR  Frogs  meetings

Red Listing Reptiles

20 June 2017

How threatened are South Africa's reptiles?

The IUCN Red List needs people to make assessments, and then those assessments need reviews. Reviewing over 400 assessments took place this week at SANBI's Kirstenbosch Research Centre.

Some well know faces from the world of South African herpetology were present. How many do you recognise?

  meetings  News

Another classic HAA meeting

27 January 2017

13th Herpetological Association of Africa conference

We had a great time at Bonamanzi Game Reserve for the 13th Herpetological Association of Africa conference.

Herpetological Association of Africa

In addition to the great photo there were lots of presentations from the MeaseyLab, including INVAXEN work and aSCR:

Estimating the global population size of a species that is hard to find: The case of Rose’s mountain toadlet
FRANCOIS BECKER, RES ALTWEGG , JOHN MEASEY, JASPER SLINGSBY & KRYSTAL A. TOLLEY

Parasite introduction to the endangered western leopard toad: Spill-over or spill-back?
NATASHA KRUGER, LOUIS H. DU PREEZ & JOHN MEASEY

Densities of Arthroleptella lightfooti across the Cape Peninsula: Preliminary results from acoustic spatial capture-recapture
MARIKE LOUW, RES ALTWEGG, ANDREW TURNER, JASPER SLINGSBY, BEN STEVENSON, DAVID BORCHERS & JOHN MEASEY

Who croaked? What the fossil frog bones say
THALASSA MATTHEWS & JOHN MEASEY

Counting chirps: Acoustic monitoring of cryptic frogs
JOHN MEASEY, BEN STEVENSON, TANYA SCOTT, RES ALTWEGG & DAVID BORCHERS

Modelling current and future distributions of three African anurans representing different functional groups: An ecophysiology modelling approach
MOHLAMATSANE M. MOKHATLA, DENNIS RÖDDER & JOHN MEASEY

Frog Olympics: Exploring the locomotory ecomorphology of the pyxicephalid radiation in southern Africa
ALEXANDER D. REBELO & JOHN MEASEY

Global realized niche divergence in the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis
DENNIS RÖDDER, FLORA IHLOW, JULIEN COURANT, JEAN SECONDI, ANTHONY HERREL, RUI REBELO, JOHN MEASEY, FRANCESCO LILLO, F. ANDRÉ DE VILLIERS, CHARLOTTE DE BUSSCHERE & THIERRY BACKELJAU

The relative tadpole vulnerability of Xenopus tadpoles to X. laevis predators
COREY J. THORP, JAMES R. VONESH & JOHN MEASEY

Frog metapopulation dynamics in the Western Cape
ANDREW A. TURNER, JOHN MEASEY & KRYSTAL A. TOLLEY

Never underestimate your opponent: Adaptive phenotypic response in a recent amphibian invader
GIOVANNI VIMERCATI, SARAH J. DAVIES & JOHN MEASEY

Impacts of climate change on the global invasion potential of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis
FLORA IHLOW, JULIEN COURANT, JEAN SECONDI, ANTHONY HERREL, RUI REBELO, JOHN MEASEY, FRANCESCO LILLO, F. ANDRÉ DE VILLIERS, SOLVEIG VOGT, THIERRY BACKELJAU & DENNIS RÖDDER

  aSCR  Lab  meetings  Xenopus