Plant Poaching: What that means?
Expert Talk – Anso le Roux
Sunday, 19 September – 13:00
Calitzdorp NG Church
This is a free event. No booking required.
Plant Poaching threatens plant health and biodiversity as entire populations can be destroyed.
Anso le Roux is a plant ecologist and for almost twenty years now, studying the vegetation ecology of the Worcester-Robertson Karoo south of Worcester, Western Cape, South Africa, which comprises a diverse mosaic of fynbos-, renosterveld- and succulent karoo vegetation units sustained by a winter-rainfall pattern. This mountainous area includes a diverse and complex mosaic of geological strata, which includes mudrock and sandstone formations of the Table Mountain Group, the Bokkeveld Group, the Witteberg Group as well as glacial Dwyka tillite, marking the geological boundary between the Cape Supergroup and the Karoo Supergroup. These diverse geological features, which include over almost two hundred million years of sediment accumulation as well as an ice age, together with the topography of the area that is characterized by intense folding, as well as a steep precipitation gradient and different influences of winter rain (in the west) and summer rain (in the east) create micro-climate environments which result in the high biodiversity of this complex mosaic mountain vegetation entity.
With this talk, the aim is to increase local awareness by telling the stories of events, mainly during the last two years where my own and/or the assistance of the larger community where I live and work, was required in the ongoing battle against the poaching of our veld-treasures. My assistance involves the communication of information to the local people as well as plant identification. As the Police often over weekends or after business hours, when plants are confiscated, need assistance with plant identification and information regarding the conservation status of such plants, I help with the identification and providing the relevant information about the plants.
Anso is a Research Fellow at the University of the Western Cape and although her primary work involves phytosociological research (vegetation surveys, plant identification as well as data gathering, -management and -analysis), she is also involved in taxonomic studies as well as ecological monitoring related to questions arising from the long-term vegetation study that she is conducting. She is often requested to help with lecturing and supporting students with fieldwork, plant identification as well as assisting with other ecological work in the Western Cape.