11 Mar 2022
Effect of Gutenbergia Cordifolia Management on Insect’s Diversity and Flower Visitation in Mwiba Wildlife Ranch
Management actions against invasive plants are crucial as they are aiming to decrease the invasive plants’ negative impacts (Kaur et al., 2014), however, managers are normally facing high opposition from the public due to some valuable benefits people get from invasive plants (Novoa et al., 2017). Based on our previous study using Desmodium uncinatum extract against G. cordifolia has shown to be a promising measure in controlling invasive G. cordifolia without affecting the insect flower visitation (Mbundi et al., 2021). However, knowledge on the control of G. cordifolia and its effects on insect visitors is still lacking among community members.
This current project is the continuation of the previous Rufford-funded project on “the effects of Gutenbergia cordifolia management on insect’s diversity and flower visitation in Mwiba area, Tanzania”. In our study, we found that using natural plant extract treatment is highly preferable to the chemical management of invasive plants G. cordifolia, as the DUL treatment maintained and even enhanced flower diversity while suppressing G. cordifolia and fostering insect visitors. Therefore, we had to share our findings with Mwiba staff, the local community including the villagers, primary pupils, and secondary students of Makao village which is close to Mwiba area. We made a brief presentation to each group about our project objectives and the results we obtained from the data that we had from Mwiba area. The purpose was to raise stakeholders' awareness of the project and its main achievement. During our meetings, we observed that most villagers were lacking conservation education especially on invasive plant spreading, management, and their effects on the ecosystem. This project is aiming at extending the involvement of local communities on invasive management and the effects of management on insect visitors by assessing the levels of community awareness, and their perceptions of the problem around Mwiba.