Protea Atlas Logo
  Overview of Project
  Project Staff
  Checking, Illustrations
  Upcoming Activities
  Id and  Species Lists
  Protea Information
  Protea Gallery
  Growing Proteas
  Interim Dist. Maps
  Afrikaanse Inligting


The Use of Protea Atlas Data

"Who is using Protea Atlas Data? Is all the data we are producing of some use? What will be done with the data when we are finished?"

Not only is the data of use, but it is being used now.

  • We get queries for data from students who want to know where they can find a species to torture somewhere within a limited budget's distance of the university or one of their parents' holiday houses, and artists who want plants in flower nearby.
  • We have had requests for Afrikaan's common names for some developer's streets, for lists of species for specific areas by conservation officials, tourism agents and Environmental Impact Assessment consultants. State and Parastatal Departments have requested data for specific species to develop catchment management plans and plan alien clearing programmes.
  • Our data have been used in designing a Biosphere reserve system on the West Coast adjacent the Langebaan National Park, and for assessing conservation priorities within the Cape Town Metropolitan Area.
  • Of all the requests for data, perhaps the Masters and PhD students have the most bizzare requests. Examples include: "Where can I find Ls conocarpodendron growing with and without Mi fimbriifolius?", "I am driving to Mossel Bay - where will I find closely-related Protea species growing together along the route?" or "I need areas where a common and a rare protea co-occur in extensive areas and - nearby - in small patches of veld containing less than 5 plants".
  • But we do not stop with providing data. Training is an essential part of our services to atlassers. In this regard Protea Atlassing is ideal: it includes elements of Mapwork, Plant Identification, Natural History Observation and Filling in forms. These are essential elements in producing well-rounded Field Rangers and Conservation Officers. It is thus not unexpected that we have been giving courses on atlassing to both Cape Nature Conservation and the High Altitude Team in the RDP Working for Water programme.
  • But we do not stop there. In addition to protea data, atlassers also note other plants en route. Thus some interesting Erica and bulb discoveries have been made.
  • We have also collected specimens for DNA analysis. Horticulturists from Kirstenbosch and scientists from overseas have accompanied us on our field trips to learn more about the flora, to collect plants and to choose study sites.
  • Reserve managers, rangers and film crews have consulted us regarding locations of rare and exciting plants and their flowering times.
  • And lastly, (but not least) we provide a service to atlassers. Want to plan a trip and not certain where to go? Tired of just walking and atlassing and want a problem to solve? We provide species lists and queries, maps and ideas. Just contact or visit us now.

Back FAQ