Management of Cactus Species


Dr Iain Paterson, Rhodes University, South Africa,


The family Cactaceae contains some of the most damaging invasive plant species in the world. The regions with the largest numbers of invasive cactus species are Australia (39 invasive cacti species), South Africa (35), Spain (23), Italy (13), Pacific Islands (13), France (10), Namibia (8), Portugal (7), China (5), Zimbabwe (5) and Hawaii (4). Each of these areas has its own management strategy to deal with cactus invasions. We, therefore, believe that there may be opportunities for increased collaboration among countries with the same problems for which the solutions could be shared.

Biological control has been proven to be one of the most successful methods to control invasive cactus species outside their native range. Therefore, the International Organization for Biological Control (IOBC) is the perfect organization from where to start improving collaboration between countries. Overall, the main aim of this working group is share, design, discuss and promote best management practices (including biocontrol) of cactus species in their introduced range.

Future activities

  • Develop an on-line survey to determine the impacts of cactus species, as well as capture any perceived benefits of any of the species.
  • Create an accessible website to inform as well as gather information on the management of cactus species.

Consult the website for more details about the working group.