Zandvlei Trust

Muizenberg East Satelite Conservation Area - Month Report.

This is a working relationship with the City of Cape Town, the Resident Home Owner Associations and Zandvlei Trust.

Monthly Report for November 2012.

Introduction

Highlights for the month included the sighting of a large (1.6m) adult, probable male Cape Cobra at Lakeshore Drive in Capricorn Business Park as well as the discovering of two new butterfly species for Soralia Village, these being the Jitterbug Daisy Copper and the Red Copper. These two species are not reflected as sightings under the Appendices as confirmation of the species is still forthcoming. Pictures have been included in this report though.

Two new bird species were added to the species list for Soralia Village, these being the Redfaced Mousebird and Orange-throated Longclaw. A mongoose with a short tail was seen moving between the Capricorn Business Park and Soralia Village on 9th November.

Psoralea glaucina was found in a large mat at the Capricorn Business Park adjacent to the Lake.


photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Unconfirmed identification of the Jitterbug Daisy Copper at Psoralea Village, November 2012


Soralia Village.

Site inspections were undertaken on 1st, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 28th November 2012.

Actions undertaken during the reporting period:
A small number of seedling Acacia saligna (Port Jackson) and Acacia cyclops (Rooikranz) have been noted coming up in the Conservation Area. The smaller of these are handpulled while undertaking site inspections. The larger plants will be removed in the next follow up clearing during December 2012.

Echium plantenium (Pattersons curse) is being removed from the Conservation Area on a regular basis and small plants are removed in 24litre bags. Larger plants require black bags to be removed from site.

Indigenous Vegetation Management
The indigenous vegetation in the conservation area consists of Cape Flats Dune Strandveld and Cape Wetland vegetation.

On 28th November the Gladiolus angustus and Wachendorfia paniculata flowers were checked and both have produced viable seed. This is a good indication that pollinators are still present within the Conservation area for these two species. A total of 11 Gladiolus angustus plants were found in the Conservation are for the 2012 flowering season as well as a further two Corycium orobanchoides (Monkshood orchid) plants. These plants will be mapped by the site manager for records.

Woody invasive alien saplings were removed by the Conservation Officer over the reporting period and follow up alien clearing will continue. Cut back plant material needs to be removed from site to prevent this causing a fire hazard once dry. Currently this cannot take place due to the lack of an operational vehicle. A recommendation is for the complex to acquire a small chipper that can be used to chip the plant material for use as mulch around the landscaped areas of the complex.

Two new butterfly species were identified in the Conservation Area, these being the Jitterbug Daisy Copper and the Red Copper. A number of other new species were added to the species list this month as well including the Cape Longclaw, Redfaced Mousebird, Cape Turtle Dove, Alpine Swift, Greater Striped Swallow, Lucern Blue and Hadeda Ibis. Two sightings of the Malachite Kingfisher in the wetland were also reported.

No Numida meleagris (HelmettedGuineafowl) were seen in the area which is a good indicator that this invasive species has not become established in the conservation area and this species will be monitored by the Conservation Officer. The fact that Pternistis capensis (Cape Spurfowl) were seen regularly in the conservation area is a good indication that the vegetation cover is sufficient for them to use as habitat.

Only one sighting of a domestic cat kill was found in the Conservation Area this month being a juvenile Otomys irroratus (Vlei Rat) found next to the wetland.

The stormwater drains are functional.
The decision on bins and benches (polywood material) is still pending with the Trustees. There is a definite need for bins along the pathway and at the bird hide. 
 Work on the new pathway continued during the month. The pole edging is approximately 50% complete and the vegetation has been cut back to make it more user friendly. The old path erosion control measures are working well and very little sand movement has been noted here (although there has been very little rain and therefore flow from the stormwater drain). During the month it did look like the bottom of a bin had been emptied out into the pathway where the erosion measures have been put in place – the debris left here included a large percentage of small pieces of plastic, eucalyptus leaves and sand. The plastic was removed from the debris. Some Asparagus plants have started growing in this pathway and these will be left to provide a soil covering
.

Litter was removed from the conservation area on a regular basis while undertaking field work and site inspections. Bins are needed along the pathway as residents are throwing litter to the ground.

The stormwater drain next to Sunrise Boulevard was checked during field work each day. Litter was removed by hand. Litter removed from Psoralea Village during November 2012:

  • 1st Nov 0.5 X 24litre bag litter collected in Conservation Area
  • 8th Nov 0.5 X 24litre bag litter collected in Conservation Area
  • 9th Nov 0.5 X 24litre bag litter collected in Conservation Area
  • 15th Nov  1 X Black bag litter collected along pathway and from stormwater drains
  • 16th Nov No litter in Conservation area
  • 21st Nov 1X 24litre bag litter collected in Conservation Area
  • 22nd Nov Negligible litter collected in Conservation Area
  • 23rd Nov 2 X 24litre bag litter collected along the pathway and from the stormwater drains and wetland area
  • 28th Nov  2 X 24 litre bag litter collected along pathway and from clearing out of stormwater drain adjacent to the wetland.

A large amount of wind-blown litter coming from the building site collection point is collecting along the most easterly portion of the conservation area fence. This litter includes cement bags, hessian bags, plastic packaging. The litter on the building sites should be correctly enclosed to prevent this from taking place.
The litter and general debris stockpiled next to the gatehouse has been cleaned up and looks much better. This area should be maintained and kept clean as far as possible.
The housekeeping within the bin room adjacent to the gate house needs to be addressed as there are often torn or open black bags in this room which are not contained and a fly problem will start in this location.

There was no evidence of waste water or chemically polluted water entering the conservation area from any building sites. The only possible contamination is from stormwater entering the conservation area off roads.

The erosion measures along the gatehouse pathway were checked during each site inspection. They have shown to be effective in preventing water erosion from cutting along the pathway so far. These will be monitored during the months to come and maintained where necessary. It was noticed that the contents of what could have possibly been a bin were emptied into the pathway at the first set of erosion control measures. The plastic was removed from this debris during field work.

Soil accretion has started to take place at the two stormwater drains adjacent to the wetland. The most western stormwater drain needs to be dug out. The most easterly stormwater drain which receives the majority of the stormwater was dug out on 28th November to ensure that no blockages occur. A 24litre bag of litter was also removed from within the old soil that has been washed into this catch pit.

There were no incidents of water wastage seen during the reporting period by the conservation site manager. The sprinkler systems were checked during the days on site inspections and were not seen to be in use during the water restriction times.


photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

The second new butterfly species at Soralia Village
unconfirmed identification as a Red Copper in November 2012.


photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

A short tongued fly species was seen regularly at Soralia Village during the month.


Muizenberg East Private Nature Reserve.

The Operational Environmental Management Plan
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Planning is currently following up on the Operation Environmental Management Plan for this development area and compliance.

Site inspections were not undertaken during the reporting period.

Invasive Alien Vegetation
The alien vegetation on the proposed development footprint remains untouched. The alien trees have now flowered and will set seed.

Fire management
Remains unchanged: The alien vegetation and grass that is becoming dominant on the development footprint of this land is causing a fire hazard to the conservation area and surrounding properties. A large brush-pile has also been stacked on the north western side of the development and the responsible party is unknown. The fire department will be contacted regarding this issue. If invasive alien clearing is undertaken on this land, the brush must be removed to prevent a fire hazard as well as removing the seed on the plants.


Sunrise Villas Conservation Corridor.

Site inspections were undertaken on 1st, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 28th November 2012.

Alien vegetation was removed from the inside conservation area on 01st November during a site inspection. Nine Evening Primrose plants were removed by hand from the conservation area. A single mirror bush was also removed by hand from a landscaped area.

During the site inspection on 28th November it was noted that the grassed area (Cynodon dactylon) next to the clubhouse was being watered during the water restriction times. The Conservation site manager discussed this with the gardener and explained that watering must only take place in the morning before 10am and in the afternoon after 4pm due to the water restriction times and to prevent burning of the plants. The gardener will ensure that this takes place in the future.


photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

The watering of the communal lawn during water restriction times (10am – 4pm).


photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

The new planted area in November 2012.

Some new species were seen on the site this month including the Citrus Swallowtail butterfly, the Alpine Swift, Rock Pigeon, Levaillant’s Cisticola and Pied Crow.

No cats were seen on the Estate during site visits. No roaming dogs were seen during site visits. There was no visible dog faeces left on the site from residents walking their dogs.

A few stray pieces of litter were collected by the conservation manager during site visits, however this was insignificant and the braai and communal areas have been kept clean of litter and debris. The overall appearance and upkeep of the complex is excellent.


Capricorn Business Park.

Environmental Screening Questionaires were undertaken on 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 12th, 14th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 26th and 27th November and were reported back to the City of Cape Town ERM Department at the Environmental Advisory Board meeting on 28th November.
A total of 24 ESQs were completed for the month.

Finalisation of the project agreement is still outstanding.


photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Naja nivea (Cape Cobra) approx 1.6m long crossing Lakeshore Drive in Capricorn Business Park
on 22 November.


Capricorn Beach Coastal Corridor.

Invasive Alien Vegetation Management – (Save our beach)
The City of Cape Town has started chipping the cut Rooikranz brush on this site to clear the fire hazard.

Indigenous Nursery Establishment
During the month, two nursery clean up days were undertaken with members of the Capricorn Beach community. This included search and rescue of the plants on the footprint of the cutting shed into pots and the removal of debris, flattening of the soil and general cleanup for the establishment of the nursery infrastructure. A few plant cuttings were taken by the conservation site manager for the rockery which will be made near the entrance gate as a showpiece. Calls for quotations on the sign board were made.

Environmental Education and Awareness
The A1 maps of the complex were approved by the HOA trustees and the artwork was sent to RevPrint Tokai as well as payment being made by the HOA for the three maps. These will be collected and dropped with the HOA when completed.

 


Chevron Development Site.

NTR.


Villa D’AlGuarve.

A site meeting was held with the HOA and the architect regarding the faunal access holes on 28th November 2012. The ground level is going to be heightened so that the holes are accessible to animals and the safety risk has been taken into account where possible by reducing the height of the holes to 150mm.

 


Meetings and Administration.

NTR.


Training.

NTR.


                                                                                                                                             

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