Journal archives for April 2019

April 25, 2019

Friday's Activities - City Nature Challenge 2019 Cape Town

A full list of Events can be found on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pg/iNatureZA/events/) or this News Link

REMINDER - OPEN DAYS:
All City of Cape Town Nature Reserves will have open days and free access on all four days of the challenge.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens will have free access on Friday 26 if you show your app with City Nature Challenge observations on your smartphone.
Table Mountain National Park requires valid Wild or Activity cards at paypoints - the rest of the National Park is open access.
The City of Cape Town is providing extra security at reserves. All activities are entirely at your own risk.

FOCUS for the day

Schools in nature reserves: biodiversity in our schools, gardens and urban parks.

EVENTS
Click on the event to find out the details.

Friday - 26 April

morning
Arderne Gardens Nature Challenge, Kenilworth
Bothasig Fynbos Reserve BioBlitz, Bothasig
Bioblitz at Joostenberg conservation site, Brakenfell
Company Gardens in a Snapshot, City Centre
CREW Klipheuwel to Joostenberg Bioblitz, Klipheuwel
Friends of Lions Head & Signal Hill City Challenge, City Centre
Kirstenbosch Streams Mini-Challenge , Kirstenbosch - all day
Photo walk at Cape Flats Nature Reserve, Bellville
Table Bay Birding, Rietvlei
Tokai Arboretum Nature Challenge, Tokai
Vesuvius Way Bioblitz, Mitchells Plain

afternoon
Kirstenbosch Streams Mini-Challenge , Kirstenbosch - all day

evening
Bioblitz at False Bay Nature Reserve, Zeekoekvlei
Rondebosch Common night walk, Rondebosch

PROJECTS
There are also some cool projects - why not participate in them!:

•• Cape Town Ant Atlas - Atlassing Ants is Awesome!
•• Cape Town School Nature Challenge - Is your class taking part?
•• Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle Atlas - Help us map this scourge.

See the Communitree City Nature Challenge (all week - visit our focus sites and help document the biodiveristy on them.

A special thanks to WESSA Friends Groups, CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered WIldflowers), Kirstenbosch Guides, City Nature Reserve Staff, University of the Western Cape Reserve Staff, and the Freshwater Biodiversity Unit, SANBI for organizing the events.

Posted on April 25, 2019 16:35 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 2 comments | Leave a comment

Press Release - from Western Cape Government

Minister encourages citizens to help put Cape Town’s unique fauna and flora on the global map.
Cape Town to take part in 2019 City Nature Challenge
Starting from 26-29 April 2019, cities around the world will be competing to see who can make the most observations of nature and find the most species, using an app to document their findings in the 2019 City Nature Challenge.
The City Nature Challenge, “bioblitz-style” competition, was designed by staff at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (Lila Higgins) and California Academy of Sciences (Alison Young). The Challenge is an international event where cities are in a contest against each other to see who can make the most observations of nature, who can find the most species, and who can engage the most people.
MEC Anton Bredell for Western Cape Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, “This is a fantastic initiative and opportunity for people to get to know their urban biodiversity. I want to encourage people across the City to take part. Cape Town is one of three cities on the African continent taking part – let’s make our mark and document as much as we can!”

The competition consists of two parts, documenting of plants, flowers and animals will take from 26-29 April 2019, after which a few days are needed to identify what has been found. The winning cities will be announced on 6 May 2019.
As the Mother City is located in one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, the City of Cape Town (which manages 20 nature reserves and various nature areas) will be open to anyone interested in recording their observations of plant and animal life over these four days.

Participants may record any plant, animal, fungi, slime mould or any other evidence of life (scat, fur, tracks, shells, carcasses) found in Cape Town and should not forget to record the location of their findings.
Marlene Laros, Director for Biodiversity and Coastal Management at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning says, “The City of Cape Town is seen as the most biodiverse City in the world with more than 3 350 plant species alone. Ongoing conservation depends on informed and involved citizens who celebrate these assets. Citizen science platforms like iNaturalist make this possible. The City Nature challenge presents an excellent opportunity to explore the City.”
Karen Shippey, Chief Director for Environmental Sustainability at the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning says: “It’s amazing how technology bridges the gap, and in this case, allows anyone to be a biologist for a day by allowing them to make their mark (or take a snap) and document the fauna and flora in our urban surroundings. These discoveries can start in your own garden. This is a wonderful way to get your kids to actually “see” the nature which is all around us. Don’t be afraid to look up information with your child about an insect or plant you notice- that’s how we all learn”.
For more information visit citynaturechallenge.org or iNaturalist.org. or

iNaturalist is available for download from the AppStore or Google Play.

Posted on April 25, 2019 05:52 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 08, 2019

Shothole Borerbeetle and Shothole Borer Fungus

Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (Euwallacea whitfordiodendrus) and Shothole Borer Fungus (Fusarium euwallaceae - also known as Fusarium Dieback)

The Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PHSB) is an Ambrosia Beetle native to Southeast Asia.

It was first detected in southern Africa on London Plane Trees in the KwaZulu-Natal NBG, Pietermaritzburg. It has since been confirmed - as of early 2019 - from:

  • Durban,
  • Hartswater,
  • Bloemfontein,
  • George,
  • Knysna, &
  • Johannesburg.

The Shot Hole Borer Beetle has a symbiotic relationship with the Shothole Borer Fungus which it farms as a food for both itself and its grubs. It is the fungus that causes the most damage and dieback to susceptible trees. These may show minor symptoms from discoloration around the holes, to major symptoms such as branch dieback and death of the entire plant.

The Shot Hole Borer Beetle bores into a wide range of exotic and indigenous trees in both man-made and natural habitats. However, the beetles are unable to survive in many species that they bore into. Many of these trees do succumb though to the fungus infection. In tree species that are resistant to the fungus, the beetles will starve.
The reproductive hosts of Shot Hole Borer Beetle include:
Avocados,
Castor Beans,
Coraltrees,
Oaks,

Maples, &
Willows,

(see the full list here: www.fabinet.up.ac.za/index.php/research/7)
Please pay attention to these indigenous species as they have been infected in other parts of the world:
Cussonia (Cabbage Trees),
Calpurnia (Calpurnias),
Diospyros (Monkey Plums),
Erythrina (Coral Trees)
Schotia (Boerboons),
Melianthus(Kruidjie-roer-my-nie),
Cunonia capensis (Rooiels),
Nuxia floribunda (Forest Elder)
, &
Bauhinia (Orchidbushes)*.
(*resistant to the fungus).
Local crops susceptible include: Avocado, Macadamia Nut, Pecan Nut, Peach, Orange & Grapes.
Ornamental particularly susceptible include: some Maples, Hollies, Wisterias, Oaks & Camellias.

Beetles are distributed by movement of infected wood for firewood, packing, timber or curios, as well as the removal of dead and dying trees. Infected wood should never be transported and should be destroyed (by burning) as soon as possible. Chipping, composting and solarisation are also commercial options to reducing spread.

Surveys to monitor the spread of the Shot Hole Borer Beetle are underway. You can help detect infections by looking out for symptoms and photographing and reporting them prompty on iNaturalist.

Resources:

Basic information: https://www.fabinet.up.ac.za/pdf/PSHB_information_sheet.pdf
Beetle pics: https://www.fabinet.up.ac.za/pdf/PSHB_beetle_life_stages2.pdf
Symptoms: https://www.fabinet.up.ac.za/pdf/PSHB_symptoms2.pdf
Poster - symptoms: https://www.fabinet.up.ac.za/pdf/PSHB_external_symptom_types.pdf
Details: https://www.fabinet.up.ac.za/index.php/pshb

How to document: https://www.fabinet.up.ac.za/pdf/PSHB_how_to_photograph3.pdf

How to sample: https://www.fabinet.up.ac.za/pdf/PSHB_how_to_sample3.pdf

https://www.capetowninvasives.org.za/shot-hole-borer

Posted on April 08, 2019 08:58 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 01, 2019

testing

@linkie -help: can this project please be converted to a collections project?

Posted on April 01, 2019 17:52 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 5 comments | Leave a comment

April 10, 2019

PSHB in Cape Town!!

First conformation of the presence of the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer beetle and its fungus in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Area
(lightly edited press release: 3 April 2019)

This officially confirms the presence of the invasive Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer beetle (PSHB, Euwallacea whitfordiodendrus) for the first time within the boundaries of the City of Cape Town Metropolitan area. We were informed of a possible infestation in the suburb of Somerset West by Mr Phumudzo Ramabulana from the City of Cape Town and Mr Paul Barker from Arderne Gardens on the 8th of March 2019. Mr. Elmar van Rooyen, a MSc student from Stellenbosch University currently working on the beetle for his thesis, collected samples from infested Liquid Amber and London Plane trees for laboratory analyses. The identity of the beetle and its symbiotic fungus was confirmed using morphological and DNA sequence analyses, and comparisons to the extensive database at the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria.

The PSHB beetle is devastating insect pest that with its symbiotic fungus Fusarium euwallaceae, can kill a wide range of native and exotic tree hosts. It is currently causing immense damage in many other parts of the country and will likely be a significant threat to urban, agricultural and native trees in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan area and surrounds. Based on our experience with the PSHB invasion in George, Knysna, and other urban areas, trees like English Oaks are particularly susceptible and suffer from high mortality rates.

The seemingly low current infestation levels in the area indicates that this is likely a very recent invasion, but the species is capable of rapid reproduction and may also spread quickly through human mediated transport (particularly the movement of infested wood). Because of this, it is our opinion that effort should be made to extensively survey the suburb to determine the current area of extent of infestation. All infested trees, particularly those known to be reproductive hosts (see other News Items here), should be removed in an attempt to eradicate the pest and minimize its economic, social and environmental impact.

We sincerely hope that this information will bolster future decision-making processes for collaborative research and management endeavors. For any further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Prof. Francois Roets
Department of Conservation Ecology and Entomology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
fr@sun.ac.za
Prof. Z. Wilhelm de Beer
Forestry & Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, Pretoria
Wilhelm.debeer@fabi.up.ac.za

Posted on April 10, 2019 11:35 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 28, 2019

Monday's Activities - City Nature Challenge 2019 Cape Town

A full list of Events can be found on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pg/iNatureZA/events/) or this News Link

REMINDER - OPEN DAYS:
All City of Cape Town Nature Reserves will have open days and free access on all four days of the challenge.
Table Mountain National Park requires valid Wild or Activity cards at paypoints - the rest of the National Park is open access.
The City of Cape Town is providing extra security at reserves. All activities are entirely at your own risk.

FOCUS for the day

Mopping up. Chasing down those missing species. See the Facebook page and down below for details! - and getting up our observer numbers!

EVENTS
Click on the event to find out the details.

Monday - 29 April - the last day of the challenge

Morning
Species Mop up: contact your local CREW or Friends group for details.
Bioblitz at Haasendal Nature Reserve, Kuilsriver
Bioblitz at Harmony Flats, Paardevlei, and Kogelbaai, Gordons Bay
Intaka island bioblitz
Schoongesight Blitz, Camphill Village (details pending)
Rocky shore bioblitz at Strandfontein Pavillion, Strandfontein
Rondevlei pathway bioblitz, Rondevlei
Steenbras Nature Reserve Wetland Wander, Steenbras
Tygerberg Nature Reserve BioBlitz, Tygerberg

Afternoon
Mopping up!
Have you done the goggos and mammals in your garden? Look for skinks, chameleons, slugeaters and toads. And dont forget the birds visiting your feeders. And ants - have you recorded the ants in your garden?
Have you done your city parks: what trees are there? any signs of Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle? What ants can be found there? See the projects below.
CREW teams will be visiting areas with an eye to find species that nobody recorded. If you are available for your local reserve, then please contact the reserve manager to see what needs to be done.

Evening
Tidal pool probing with George & Margo Branch, Dalebrook
&
Please leave on some lights and see what moths you can attract. Light pollution kills huge numbers of moths, so dont do this often: do you have any spectacular moths in your home?

MIDNIGHT on Monday night sees the end of the challenge. You must have taken all your photographs (including the moths) by midnight to qualify for the challenge. Photographs must be uploaded before Monday 6th May.

PROJECTS
There are also some cool projects - why not participate in them!:

•• Cape Town Ant Atlas - Atlassing Ants is Awesome!
•• Cape Town School Nature Challenge - Is your class taking part?
•• Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle Atlas - Help us map this scourge.

See the Communitree City Nature Challenge (all week - visit our focus sites and help document the biodiveristy on them.

A special thanks to WESSA Friends Groups, CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered WIldflowers), City Nature Reserve Staff, Century City, and George & Margo Branch for organizing some awesome events.
Please support them and turn out in numbers!

Posted on April 28, 2019 23:11 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 3 comments | Leave a comment

April 17, 2019

Publications using iNaturalist data in southern Africa.

2019

Recent records of fruit chafers (Scarabaeidae: Cetoniinae: Cetoniini) in the southwestern Cape region of South Africa suggest that range expansions were facilitated by human- mediated jump-dispersal and pre-adaptation to transformed landscapes.
F. Roets, J.D. Allison & R.J. Basson. 2019. African Entomology 27(1): 135–145 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4001/003.027.0135

2018

Invasive potential and management of naturalised ornamentals across an urban environmental gradient with a focus on Centranthus ruber
Patricia M. Holmes, Anthony G. Rebelo, & Ulrike M. Irlich 2018. Bothalia 48 https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v48i1.2345

iSpot

2016

The harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis: global perspectives on invasion history and ecology.

Helen E. Roy, Peter M. J. Brown, Tim Adriaens, Nick Berkvens, Isabel Borges, Susana Clusella-Trullas, Richard F. Comont, Patrick De Clercq, Rene Eschen, Arnaud Estoup, Edward W. Evans, Benoit Facon, Mary M. Gardiner, Artur Gil, Audrey A. Grez, Thomas Guillemaud, Danny Haelewaters, Annette Herz, Alois Honek, Andy G. Howe, Cang Hui, William D. Hutchison, Marc Kenis, Robert L. KochJan Kulfan, Lori Lawson Handley, Eric Lombaert, Antoon Loomans, John Losey, Alexander O. Lukashuk, Dirk Maes,, Alexandra Magro, Katie M. Murray, Gilles San Martin, Zdenka Martinkova, Ingrid A. Minnaar, Oldřich Nedved, Marina J. Orlova-Bienkowskaja, Naoya Osawa, Wolfgang Rabitsch, Hans Peter Ravn, Gabriele Rondoni, Steph L. Rorke, Sergey K. Ryndevich, May-Guri Saethre, John J. Sloggett, Antonio Onofre Soares, Riaan Stals, Matthew C. Tinsley, Axel Vandereycken, Paul van Wielink, Sandra Viglášová, Peter ZachIlya A. Zakharov, Tania Zaviezo & Zihua Zhao. 2016. Biological Invasions 18, 997–1044 DOI: 10.1007/s10530-016-1077-6

Posted on April 17, 2019 06:50 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 1 comment | Leave a comment

April 18, 2019

Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle Records in s Africa

This is a companion project to the Atlas which can be found there:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/polyphagous-shothole-borer-beetle-pshb-atlas-s-afr

Instructions can be found on the projects journal.

Posted on April 18, 2019 19:55 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Some Admin issues.

WELCOME AND INSTRUCTIONS HERE: CLICK

ADMIN INSTRUCTIONS:

The Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle PSHB Atlas collects data for purposes of monitoring and managing the spread of the PSHB Beetle.

The following collections are useful for managing the reporting process.
* Inspection required: Possible evidence of (beetle) damage to susceptible trees
* Inspection required urgently: Beetle damage to susceptible trees reported

The following data have been inspected in the field and found to be:
Not infected by PSHB:
* Inspection completed: no PSHB Infection found
Confirmed PSHB Infections:
* PSHB Infection verified - see observation comments for action taken

Confirmed observations of beetles directly or indirectly (i..e not of host plants) can be found here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/polyphagous-shothole-borer-beetle-records-s-afr

Records of uninfected trees can be found here, but note, that uninfected trees can co-exist with infected individuals for a variety of reasons. A clear observation on its own ndoes not imply that the area is clear of infection at that time. Map of uninfected trees

For the distribution of susceptible species in South Africa, please see here:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/plants-susceptible-to-pshb-in-south-africa?tab=observations&subtab=map&verifiable=any

Posted on April 18, 2019 19:20 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Welcome to the Polyphagous Shothole Borer Beetle Atlas

The Polyphagous Shothole Borer (PSHB) beetle has been discovered in Southern Africa and threatens many of the regions indigenous, ornamental, and food-producing trees! HELP us reduce, or at least record, its impact!

YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE by joining this project and adding your observations of healthy and possibly infected trees! This will allow scientists and officials to monitor and limit the outbreak.

How?
Simply survey any tree that might be susceptible (incl. Oaks, Maples and Planes) and look for holes and oozing gum. Photograph the tree with its damage - or just the tree if there is no sign of damage, and add this project to your observation. Fill in question, and you will have helped us to map the spread of this scourge.

Please do not remove bark or chop down trees that you suspect are infected. A team will be dispatched to check and decide on any action. Please note that infected trees need to go into quaranteen, and cannot just be chopped down and removed for firewood or dumping: this will spread the beetle and increase the rate of invasion. The PSHB team will be able to advise you as to what to do.

For a full list of susceptible trees, and other species that could be used to monitor this beetle's spread, see below
These are the best trees to use to monitor the PSHB. If you know of any in your area, visit them regularly and record their status every few months. The iNaturalist cell phone app is perfect for this.
•• Avocados,
•• Castor Beans,
•• Coraltrees,
•• Oaks,

•• Maples, &
•• Willows,

Local crops susceptible include: Avocado, Macadamia Nut, Pecan Nut, Peach, Orange & Grapes.
Ornamental particularly susceptible include: some Maples, Hollies, Wisterias, Oaks & Camellias.

Please also pay attention to these indigenous species as they have been infected in other parts of the world, and may thus be susceptible to damage by this beetle:
Cussonia (Cabbage Trees),
Calpurnia (Calpurnias),
Diospyros (Monkey Plums),
Erythrina (Coral Trees)
Schotia (Boerboons),
Melianthus(Kruidjie-roer-my-nie),
Cunonia capensis (Rooiels),
Nuxia floribunda (Forest Elder)
, &
Bauhinia (Orchidbushes)*.
(*resistant to the fungus).

If you post a suspected infection, your area will be surveyed, and the observation field that you filled in will be adjusted accordingly, allowing us to use the data to map the spread and hopefully containment of this pest.

Posted on April 18, 2019 14:26 by tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 2 comments | Leave a comment