Zandvlei Trust

Cape Town's Unique Biodiversity.

An incredible responsibility and an amazing asset.

Some facts about the vegetation types (habitats are found within these vegetation types ).

  • South Africa is the 3rd most biodiverse country in the world.

  • Out of 440 vegetation types found in South Africa, 19 occur in the City of Cape Town.

  • Out of the 24 critically endangered vegetation types in South Africa, 10 (42%) occur within the boundaries of the City.

  • There are 6 vegetation types which are endemic (i.e. they occur nowhere else on Earth) within the City of cape Town. This means that these vegetation types can only be conserved within the City's boundaries! 3 of these are classified as Critically Endangered and 3 as Endangered.

  • We have already lost 13 plant speciesforever which used to occur within the City, these are now globally extinct!

  • There are 319 plant species found within the City that are threatened with extinction. This means that these species are Criticaly Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable due to so called causal factors.

  • The main causal factor in Cape Town is;

    • habitat destruction, 

    • followed by alien plant invasion. 

    • If these factors are not prevented or managed, a great number of plant species will become extinct. 

    • Climate change is another factor which should be considered for the future.

What is the Biodiversity Network?

The Biodiversity Network is the fine scale conservation for the Cape Town area. It is a spatial representation of what natural vegetation remnants are required to meet the national conservation targets. 

What does the Biodiversity Network do?

The biodiversity Network supports the regional conservation initiatives and the plan is to further a partnership between the City of Cape Town, CapeNature, SanParks, the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP).

What else does it do?

The Biodiversity Network is used as a key informant in the various City Spatial Plans, which are addressing a number of pressing social responsibilities and issues. These plans will shape the City into the future and assisted by the Biodiversity Network incorporate and protect the most biodiverse areas in the City. 

Why is this work important?

It is critical  that we protect our natural heritage, not only for the services that they provide, but also for the enjoyment and benefit of the future generations.

Clifford Dorse.


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