Here is the line-up for the South African TV show 50 | 50, Anniversary Season, Episode 29 which will broadcast on SABC 2 at 19h30 on Monday the 24th of March 2014. This episode is all about alien invasive plant species and biocontrol methods that are designed to reduce the spread of these species.
Biocontrol of alien plants
Aliens are all around us, covering approximately 10% of South Africa and spreading constantly. Our country’s water security, agriculture and biodiversity are at the mercy of destructive invasives. Alien plants cause billions of rands of damage to our economy; interfering with ecosystem functioning, land productivity, increasing soil erosion and intensifying the impact of fires and floods. Invasive alien plants are intense bullies, rapidly establishing and outcompeting indigenous species. But the Agricultural Research Council – Plant Protection Research Institute (ARC – PPRI) are on a mission to eliminate these invaders! ARC – PPRI devote their time to researching biocontrol methods for alien invasive plant species, finding innovative and natural ways to reduce the spread of these pests. We follow the ARC – PPRI’s journey as they search for and implement solutions to eradicate the pompom weed in the grasslands and the parthenium weed in Kwazulu-Natal.
Interview with Dr Helmuth Zimmermann
We have a interesting and informative one on one interview with Dr. Helmuth Zimmermann, a bio-control world expert. Dr. Zimmermann discusses the history, implementation and future of biocontrol in South Africa. He also explains the difference between exotic, alien and invasive plants species, and answers the important question of why South Africa is so affected by alien plants and how we are leading the world in their control.
Tonight there are some unique wildlife interactions in store with lions that play rough, boxing aardvarks, extravagant bird displays and romantic rhinos.