• A Spatial Analysis of Effectiveness of Eradication of Invasive Species in Improving Grazing for Marginal Livestock Economies in Dryland of Matabeleland South Region, Zimbabwe: A Focus on Lantana camara and Opuntia fulgida

    Oliver Dube, Joy-Noeleen Gugulethu Ndlovu, Ntandoyenkosi Ayanda Ncube

    Department of Environmental Science and Health, Faculty of Applied Sciences, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

    Abstract: Invasive alien plant species proliferation is accelerated by land disturbance such as recurrent droughts. The invasive species of concern in this study are Lantana camara and Opuntia fulgida with occurrence frequency of 43.8 % and 33.8% respectively in the dryland areas of Zimbabwe. This study was conducted in ward 14 and Ward 16, Gwanda and Bulilima Districts, respectively. The first step involved mapping the distribution and extent of eradicated areas in the two sites. A survey was carried out on randomly selected respondents where an assessment of knowledge, attitude, and economic gains due to eradication of invasive species, was determined. The study found that the actual reported loss of livestock in Bulilima resulting from Lantana camara poisoning was estimated at USD$7920/year. However, eradication recovered grazing potential of 37.6 hectares, an average carrying capacity of seven heard of cattle with a conservative total market value of $3500.00/yr. Nonetheless, this behavioural change was found to be strongly embedded in external monetary incentives with a frequency score of 88%, indicating an economic response to common property management. The study recommends an extensive use of multidisciplinary approach in the eradication of invasive species; a structured and pragmatic use of incentives.

    Keywords: behaviour change, attitude, incentives, common property resources, opportunity cost

    Pages: 429 – 450 | Full PDF Paper