Monitoring and strengthening of the Lithops schwantesii subsp. schwantesii var. urikosensis population at Bethanie, Namibia
The once extensive colony of Lithops schwantesii s. urikosensis on the outskirts of the town of Bethanie has dwindled over the past 20 years to leave only 10 plants on a small calcrete hillock. As an initial experiment to gain knowledge of the most effective way to re-establish Lithops plants into habitat, 10 young plants were introduced into this small colony 8 years ago. Three of the original 10 young plants were found to be alive and well in 2015 and to further strengthen the population, 50 young plants were planted on the hillock in 2017 and 2018. Due to heavy predation by especially mice, only 22 of the 50 plants were doing well by the end of May 2018. These plants received no aftercare and the success of this re-introduction will be monitored to gain knowledge of the possibility of re-introducing Lithops plants into habitats where it might not be possible to provide aftercare.