Sustainable trade in wildlife products
What we do
This programme co-ordinates research and surveys of animal and plant species that are in trade or are utilized, and the development of management tools to facilitate sustainable use. Projects are undertaken in collaboration with a number of partner organizations. Current projects include:
- Ecology, population biology and utilization of Aloe plicatilis
- National resource assessments for Pachypodium bispinosum and Pachypodium succulentum
- Resurveys of priority Encephalartos species in Mpumalanga
- Electronic key for cycad identification
- Stable isotope and radiocarbon dating techniques for tracing origins of ex situ cycads
- Genetic fingerprinting of Cape parrots
- Breeding of colour morphs in the game industry
- Surveying and monitoring of Dioscorea strydomiana
- Baseline field surveys of priority succulent plant species
Where we work
Current projects are active in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, Northern Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga.
Reason for our programme
Part of SANBI's mandate is to generate knowledge and disseminate information on the sustainable use of biological resources. A relatively large number of South African species are still traded from wild sources. The trade in species includes traditional medicinal use, as well as general medicinal use (e.g. hoodia, devils claw), trade for specialist collections (e.g. cycads, succulents, reptiles), and hunting and fishing. It is necessary to understand how these species respond to harvest from the wild as well as the dynamics that affect sustainable use of these species.
There are also regulatory requirements, such as the Threatened or Protected Species (TOPS) regulations and he Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), where information on species is needed. This work is being co-ordinated as part of SANBI's commitments to the Scientific Authority.
What we have achieved
The SANBI Species ID Tool is a decision support and easy reference tool that will assist customs officials, law enforcement officers, border police and environmental management inspectors with the identification of South African TOPS- and CITES-listed species. The SANBI electronic cycad identification key will be invaluable for inspectors and law enforcers who have to identify South African cycad species during the execution of their duties.
Who we are
The programme is co-ordinated by Michèle Pfab, the Scientific Co-ordinator of the Scientific Authority. Partner organizations include the Universities of the Witwatersrand, Cape Town, KwaZulu-Natal and Stellenbosch, Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency and TRAFFIC East/Southern Africa.
For more information
Contact Michèle Pfab