In South Africa, there currently are plans to develop shale-based gas extraction in arid and semi-arid landscapes
of the Karoo. The extraction of gas from shale in the Karoo through hydraulic fracturing, also known as ‘fracking’,
remains a contentious issue, with stakeholders often criticised for not being forthright in their reporting of the
possible risks to local water resources.1 Indeed, what I find the most striking among all the debate and polemical
essays is how very few scientific reports there are on the possible local effects of fracking on the native Karoo biota.