The majestic Clanwilliam cedar tree: Why we owe it a second chance
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Not so long ago, I had the privilege of sitting in the dappled shade of a magnificent Clanwilliam cedar tree. The 12 o’clock sun was baking, and we were scrambling uphill, rock-hopping, missioning, endlessly, until among the stark, Cederberg sandstone came a brief moment of respite: a cool, flat rock under a mushrooming green canopy. Not many people know that … Read More

Biodiversity importance of the Cape Floristic Kingdom
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One of the key values of protected areas is to ensure that the biodiversity of a biome is protected and allowed to function in accordance with natural processes. The Cape Floristic Kingdom is the richest of the world’s six plant kingdoms, proportional to size, and is an epicentre of diversity and endemism. More than 9000 plant species occur in this … Read More

Biodiversity Economy of the Cape Floristic Kingdom
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Biodiversity in the Cape Floristic Kingdom (CFK) is worth vast amounts to the South African economy. The wild flower industry alone is worth R150 million per annum – 80% of this as foreign exchange. The Cape deciduous fruit industry, that is worth R1 billion per annum and provides 80 000 jobs, is dependant on bees for pollination. In turn these … Read More

Seabird Islands of the Western Cape:
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Critical breeding grounds for African Penguins, Cape Gannets, gulls, cormorants and tern species, the guano islands that lie off the coastline of the Western Cape of South Africa protect seabirds from disturbance and predation from land-based predators. Sadly, the populations of many of these seabirds are in rapid decline due to a variety of human induced pressures and these islands, … Read More

The real value of nature-based tourism in the Cape Floristic Kingdom
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The marriage of conservation and human development has never been a happy one; historically the one has usually been accomplished at the expense of the other one. Conservation has excluded human development and has sometimes compromised it, while human development has often been achieved at the expense of non-renewable natural resources. In the past protected areas have been considered a … Read More

Habitat Transformation of the Cape Floristic Kingdom
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Habitat transformation in the Cape Floristic Kingdom (CFK) has been extreme since the time when Jan van Riebeeck landed in South Africa in 1652. As much as 31% of the CFK has already been completely transformed, with the major threats being agriculture, alien plants, afforestation and urbanisation. Although urbanisation is responsible for the smallest area of transformation, the ecological consequences … Read More