Author: Leonie Joubert
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Invaded tells the story of invasive alien plant and animal species in South Africa: Joubert describes the journey of these species as the real story of global travel. Ever since the evolution of modern human beings about 150 000 years ago, and our first journeys out of Africa, we have taken plants and living creatures with us.
Along with alien plants, of course, comes the spectre of challenges to water resources: invasive plants use more than 7% of South Africa’s water, which is water-scarce to begin with. The book explores the history of these invasive species – how the mussel probably arrived as a stowaway on the bellies of a ships ,and how the oyster may have been taken from the aquaculture beds of Knysna by tourists.
Compelling and curious are eerie tales such as how the triffid weed could be turning the crocodiles of St Lucia into females and the plague of cats and mice on Marion Island. It is a book of hope – because it identifies what we’re up against, which in turn enables us to start fixing the problem. The human ape that rose up and started walking out of Africa 150 000 years ago made the mess, and so surely we now can and must get ourselves out of it!