Thesium: How do you eat an elephant?

Thesium: How do you eat an elephant?

Cape Town – It is said that a big task is like an elephant. And the only way to finish it is to eat it piece by piece. A group of South African botanical taxonomists are slowly and systematically revising a plant group that was last looked at nearly 100 years ago –...
APPLY: DNA Barcoding Workshop Series

APPLY: DNA Barcoding Workshop Series

Pretoria – The South African node of the International Barcode of Life (SABOL) is offering a series of workshops in the form of virtual presentations and practical sessions. DNA barcoding is a tool that allows for the standardisation of species delineation...
SA legless skink taxonomically ‘demoted’

SA legless skink taxonomically ‘demoted’

Cape Town – The Variegated legless skink has been taxonomically ‘demoted’. Once a valid described species, its position on the tree of life is now less prominent since its designation as a taxonomic ‘synonomy’. Skinks (family Scincidae) are the most diverse group of...
FBIP hits 1 million species occurrence records in 2020

FBIP hits 1 million species occurrence records in 2020

Cape Town – Despite being a tumultuous year due to the Covid pandemic, 2020 has seen the Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme (FBIP) reach an important milestone. The FBIP has breached the 1 million mark for species occurrence records submitted by...
New flat mite species described for South Africa

New flat mite species described for South Africa

A new flat mite species has been described for South Africa. It is the fifth South African species to be included in the genus grouping Obuloides which now comprises eight species. Mites are small arthropods belonging to the class Arachnida and the subclass Acari...
SnapshotSafari South Africa: conservation continues during COVID

SnapshotSafari South Africa: conservation continues during COVID

By Dr David Marnevick South Africa is a biodiversity hotspot, boasting important mammal species globally. To assist with species conservation, we are continuing with our project to provide a multi-scale inventory of South Africa’s mammals using cutting edge...
Can fracking and birdlife coexist in the Karoo?

Can fracking and birdlife coexist in the Karoo?

During dry times, birds in the Karoo descend to water and drinking troughs sometimes in their hundreds. But now competition between sheep and birds for access to this essential ingredient to life has another competitor: mining and industry, the most controversial of...
Stable Eastern Cape forests shielded bats from icy extermination

Stable Eastern Cape forests shielded bats from icy extermination

Forest bats were spared from an icy extermination during the Last Glacial Maximum, holding lessons for present threats and conservation management. The Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) is a notorious period in the recent history of the earth (about 25 000 years ago)...