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City clears Kirstenhof Wetland of invasive alien species<p>​The City’s Invasive Species Unit started removing Madeira Vine and American Bramble from the Kirstenhof Wetland on 13 April 2021. The operation is now nearing completion. </p><p>The wetland is located next to the duck pond between the M3 and Main Road (M4).</p><p>‘Effective control and management of invasive alien species at the Kirstenhof Wetland is vital in maintaining a clean and safe natural environment for residents and the many species the wetland provides a habitat for. Our Invasive Species Unit has carefully planned this operation in order to minimise the risk of negatively impacting any bird species, which uses the reed beds as nest sites. Operations were also only planned for areas with Madeira Vine and therefore, the majority of the area has remained untouched to provide habitat for animal life,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt.</p><p>The Madeira Vine; American Bramble and Bulrush (Typha capenses) are intertwined. The Bulrush needs to be cut back in order to remove the Madeira Vine. The bulrush will, however, grow back in the area. This cutting is being done by hand using pruning shears as a precautionary approach to ensure that there is no negative impact on birds, nests or other species during the operation. </p><p>The timeframe of the removal of the Madeira Vine was also planned so that it falls outside of the breeding season for the Endangered Western Leopard Toad (Sclerophrys pantherina). </p><p>The Madeira Vine is one of the targeted invasive alien species under the City’s Early Detection and Rapid Response Programme (EDRR). The Invasive Species Unit had to act proactively in curbing its growth. Most invasive alien plant species are known for high water use, increasing wildfire risks as a result of their fuel load, and providing shelter or space for criminal activities. </p><p>‘Controlling these species in general promotes water productivity and reduces fire and safety risks in conservation areas such as the Kirstenhof Wetland. The subsequent habitat improvements of this operation will be of immense value to all indigenous species that depend on it,’ said Alderman Nieuwoudt.</p><p>The City of Cape Town’s invasive alien species control projects and operations are implemented across the city on an annual basis.<br></p>2021-05-18T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#8ca48500-b401-48f2-bda0-8737ac3e51ab;L0|#08ca48500-b401-48f2-bda0-8737ac3e51ab|Alien invasive species;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#5f5cdb96-4643-42d6-b57a-da20a830c58d;L0|#05f5cdb96-4643-42d6-b57a-da20a830c58d|Biodiversity10

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