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AbstractThe utilization of cycads in South Africa is apparently not limited to only a few species, because of the generic use of these plants for medicinal/magical purposes. Plant gatherers collect cycad material or even whole plants from any population they can access easily, often with devastating results for the plants and populations. Utilization is primarily for medicinal and magical purposes, and it is continuing at a rate considered unsustainable by the majority of conservation authorities. Studies aimed at understanding the extent of harvesting and trade of these plants have beneï¬?ted the drafting and implementation of improved legislation, and have also boosted conservation efforts to protect wild cycad populations. However, owing to insufï¬?cient manpower and resources required for the implementation of efï¬?cient, proactive conservation programs by the authorities, unsustainable use of cycad plants is likely to continue.
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