Threatened Species Programme

  • The Threatend Species Programme (TSP), funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy from 2004-2009 is a monitoring and reporting programme that is divided into plant and animal units. The plant component comprises the Red List of South African Plants and the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) programme.

What we do?

  • The TSP is mandated to monitor and report on the conservation status of South Africa's indigenous plant and animal species. The TSP co-ordinates the collection of information on species, particularly those that have historically received little research and conservation attention, such as reptiles, spiders and marine fish, through projects involving volunteers from the public, scientists, taxonomists and conservationists from partner institutions across the country. The data collected through these projects are used to assess species' risk of extinction against the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  • In addition, the TSP co-ordinates and promotes the application of threatened species information in all spheres of biodiversity conservation - from national and international conservation legislation and policy, to conservation planning, protected area selection, protection of threatened habitats, and ex-situ breeding programmes within the SANBI National Botanical Gardens.

What are we currently working on?

Global strategy for plant conservation

  • South Africa is signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and is committed to the implementation of a national strategy to conserve plants that aligns with the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). With 6% of the world’s plant diversity and strong botanical and conservation capacity, South Africa is well placed to make a significant contribution to plant conservation globally. The  South Africa’s Strategy for Plant Conservation (add website link) includes 16 outcome-oriented targets, each of which, if implemented well, will help lead to improved conservation of plants.
  • The targets range from work to document, describe and assess the conservation status of plants; through to targets to conserve plants in situ and ex situ. Targets are nationally relevant and align with activities identified in South Africa’s updated National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP).

  • This strategy was developed under the leadership of SANBI, the focal point for the implementation of the GSPC nationally with support from the Botanical Society of South Africa (BotSoc). Through the development of this strategy a network of botanists has been developed that includes conservation agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and academic institutions. It is this strong network will ensure that South Africa’s Strategy for Plant Conservation is implemented by 2020.

What have we achieved?

  • South African Reptile Conservation Assessment (SARCA) in partnership with the University of Cape Town's Animal Demographic Unit.
  • South African Butterflies Conservation Assessment (SABCA) in partnership with the University of Cape Town's Animal Demographic Unit.
  • South African National Survey of Arachnida (SANSA) in partnership with the Agricultural Research Council
  • Western Leopard Toad atlas in partnership with Cape Nature, City of Cape Town, Overstrand Municipality, Table Mountain National Park, Nature Conservation Corporation and volunteers of the public.
  • South Africa's Strategy for plant conservation.

TSP Publications


Last updated on 09 June 2017
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