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Suggested Biological Survey for Union of South Africa

    Naturevolume 135pages10301031 (1935) | Download Citation

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    Abstract

    IN the South African Journal of Science (Nov. 1934, p. 396), Dr. R. Bigalke makes a plea for the inauguration of a biological survey in the Union. During 1911-33 the Provinces spent £607,674 in connexion with fish and game preservation and the destruction of vermin, and the suggestion is that a biological survey would furnish scientific information for the more efficient use of such expenditure. The survey would be a unit of the Department of Agriculture, and it would set in the forefront of its aims the solution of pressing economic problems, such as the biology and control of predatory animals, of noxious rodents, or rabies transmitters, and the relation of wild birds to agriculture. Before such investigations had progressed far, the need for faunistic surveys would become obvious, and for the prosecution of these co-operation would be sought with the various museums. The author estimates that such a survey could be set going with a staff of not less than six biologists, who should have taken zoology as a major subject and botany and geology as minors. But can any thorough study of fauna be carried out without recourse to fairly thorough statistical analysis, and the author says nothing about mathematical qualifications.

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    https://doi.org/10.1038/1351030d0

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