The population fluctuations of arthropods attacking table grapes were studied in 12 commercially treated vineyards in the Hex River Valley in South Africa for three years. Sampling was conducted by inspecting different plant parts and using a variety of traps. Planococcus ficus (Signoret) males in the pheromone traps started increasing during Decem- ber, to reach a peak at the end of February. Cordon infestation preceded bunch infestation by three to five months, the latter occurring from about January or February. Thrips, mainly Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), caught on blue sticky traps were active during spring and early summer.
A study was performed to develop a generic pest monitoring system for sampling the main table grape pests in vineyards in the Hex River Valley, Western Cape Province of South Africa. The presence of phytophagous and predatory mites on cover crop plants was also investigated as this may contribute to biological control of the phytophagous mites in vines. Life table studies for Epichoristodes acerbella (Walker), an important phytosanitary pest, were conducted to determine whether or not this pest was sensitive to high temperatures. Information gained from the latter can also be used for breeding purposes in the possible future development of a sterile insect technique (SIT) programme to control this pest.
Despite the demonstrated utility of GIS for health applications, there are perceived problems in low resource settings: GIS software can be expensive and complex; input data are often of low quality. This study aimed to test the appropriateness of new, inexpensive and simple GIS tools in poorly resourced areas of a developing country. GIS applications were trialled in pilot studies based on mapping of health resources and health indicators at the clinic and district level in the predominantly rural province of Nusa Tenggara Timur in eastern Indonesia. The pilot applications were (i) rapid field collection of health infrastructure data using a GPS enabled PDA, (ii) mapping health indicator data using open source GIS software, and (iii) service availability mapping using a free modelling tool.
A previous PSLP-funded project on pilot applications of health mapping in NTT (July 2008-June 2009) demonstrated efficient rapid field assessment of health facilities in three districts, clinic health data mapping and service availability mapping, and developed a system for efficient recording, reporting and visualisation of clinic health data.
The current project (1 Sept 2009- 30 Sept 2010) aims to expand the infrastructure assessment to also record services (e.g. emergency obstetric) available at the health facilities, to extend health mapping capability to more districts, to evaluate the impacts of implementing a clinic database for recording, reporting, and visualising health data, and to develop train-the-trainer capacity in health mapping in NTT.
Informal settlements pose a major challenge for managers and planners of developing world cities. Failure to inter- vene in a manner that improves residents' quality of life may lead to social and political unrest. Due to continually changing internal social and political environments in these settlements and to frequent changes in the arrangements of shacks, spatial and social data need to be collected more frequently than for conventional development tasks. What are needed are simple, low-cost techniques that preferably involve community members in collecting the data. Palmtop computers, group workshops, and voice recordings incorporated into digital records, digital still and video imagery, and semi-automated feature extraction techniques are methods that have been developed and tested in a number of settlements in Cape Town, South Africa, along with one in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, and that can be used to address these needs.
by Louis Liebenberg
From 2000 to 2004 the Noordhoek wetlands and beach in the Table Mountain National Park suffered ongoing criminal attacks on visitors. Criminal attacks included armed robbery, assault of visitors and rape. Due to the remoteness of the area, the police and park rangers were unable to apprehend suspects. Only by tracking suspects and using the CyberTracker to plot their movements, was it possible to plan successful operations to catch the criminals. The CyberTracker monitoring programme has proven very successful in reducing and preventing attacks on visitors. After several arrests in 2004, there were no reported attacks on visitors and a number of attempted attacks were prevented during the period of 2005 to 2007.
Article and photos by Kotie Geldenhuys
The Bushmen, who are superb trackers and who can make accurate deductions from the faintest marks in the sand, immediately come to mind when thinking about tracking. These natural trackers can tell from marks in the sand the species of the animal, its sex, the age of the track, the speed at which it travelled, whether it was alone, injured and even what it had been eating. This information is important for determining whether a trail is worth pursuing or not.