Review Article

Tsetse flies should remain in protected areas in KwaZulu-Natal

Adrian J. Armstrong, Andy Blackmore
Koedoe | Vol 59, No 1 | a1432 | DOI: | © 2017 Adrian J. Armstrong, Andy Blackmore | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 August 2016 | Published: 30 January 2017

About the author(s)

Adrian J. Armstrong, Scientific Services, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, South Africa
Andy Blackmore, Scientific Services, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, South Africa


The proposal to eradicate tsetse flies from South Africa, including its protected areas, via the sequential aerosol technique combined with the sterile insect technique to reduce trypanosomiasis in cattle did not present an appropriate analysis of the impacts that implementation of the proposal would have on biodiversity. Not only would the implementation of the proposal be contrary to South African laws protecting and conserving biodiversity, but it would also have negative consequences for the conservation of biodiversity. Some of the negative consequences are reviewed, including extirpations and negative impacts on ecological and ecosystem processes and services. Alternative strategies to control trypanosomiasis in cattle effectively in a more environment-friendly manner are presently available and others will almost certainly become available in the not-too-distant future.

Conservation implications: Environmental protection, promotion of conservation and sustainable use of the environment are all deeply seated in South Africa’s law. Rural livestock husbandry considerations and biodiversity conservation are not mutually exclusive and the importance of one cannot supersede the other. The eradication proposal is seen to be environmentally damaging and therefore it is concluded that the purpose of this proposed eradication exercise is unconstitutional, contrary to various multilateral agreements South Africa has entered into and contrary to good environmental governance.


Tsetse flies; Glossina species; Trypanosoma species; Protected areas; Livestock health; Non-target organisms; Ecosystem health


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Crossref Citations

1. Comment on Bioscience Forum article by Bouyer and colleagues (2018)
Glyn Vale, John Hargrove
BioScience  vol: 69  issue: 6  first page: 409  year: 2019  
doi: 10.1093/biosci/biz035