Pathloving Plants and Animals

Pathloving Plants and Animals - Southern Africa : Many organisms like a bit of disturbance but not too much. One group that does not appear to have gotten much attention are organisms that prefer to occur along paths. Prehistorically the veld teemed with paths. Big game like elephant, rhino and ela

Many organisms like a bit of disturbance but not too much. One group that does not appear to have gotten much attention are organisms that prefer to occur along paths.

Prehistorically the veld teemed with paths. Big game like elephant, rhino and eland, as well as herding animals created networks of paths over mountains and connecting feeding and water areas. Seasonal water sources were particularly well pathed. Humans must have been responsible for many paths as well, especially connecting caves and suitable camping sites.

Today walking through the veld is discouraged. Merely compare Silvermine with Rondebosch common to see the difference of mildly controlled walking, versus no control. So, pathloving organisms may well be threatened in some areas - especially remote areas where the game has been shot out, but few people venture into.
Also, many organisms now use roads. Creating and maintaining paths is not without costs, and it is far easier to move along human roads, than to beat one's way through the bush. So even in relatively natural areas, paths may be becoming rare.

This project is devoted to those organisms that one sees mainly alongside paths.

Note that we dont want to exclude observations, so we will include those organisms using the paths to get lifts for dispersal or to parasitize or feed upon the path makers or path users.

This is a southern African project. Please use the tag "Pathlover".

22 Jul 2015
Tony Rebelo