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 October 2012.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Pintailed Whydah seen at Capricorn Beach.

Soralia Village.

Site inspections were undertaken on 1st, 5th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 22nd and 31st October 2012.

Acacia saligna (Port Jackson) and Acacia cyclops (Rooikranz) were removed from the Conservation Area on the 11th October by handpulling of seedlings, lopping and herbiciding of cut stumps of large plants. The large Port Jackson that was flowering in the middle of the thicket in block 2 has now been cut down and herbicided. This plant had not produced seed, but follow ups to check for any seedlings in the future will be undertaken by the conservation site Manager.

Echium plantenium (Pattersons curse) were found in the landscaping area and have started flowering. On 9th October, three black bags of Pattersons curse seedlings were removed from this area.

On 31st October seven Gladiolus angustus were seen flowering along the pathway in the conservation area as well as Wachendorfia paniculata.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.                                                 photograph by Cassy Sheasby.  

Gladiolus angustus at Soralia Village.                     Wachendorfia paniculata at Soralia Village.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.                                                  photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Lyperia tristis at Soralia Village                               Carpobrotus acinaciformis at Soralia Village.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Trachylepis homalocephala The Redsided Skink was seen at Soralia Village on 12/10/2012

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Strongylopis grayii The Clicking Stream Frog seen at the Soralia Village Wetland on 31/10/2012

The area was checked on a regular basis for any sign of animals in distress. A dead vlei rat was found on the road verge next to the conservation area gate on 10th October – the cause of death is unknown. 
On 16th October a dead Cross-marked Grass Snake (adult male) probable cause of death from a domestic cat and a decomposing Forest Shrew were found in the conservation area – cause of death unknown. Currently there are no actions being undertaken at Soralia Village to deter cats or remove them from the Conservation Area.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Psammophis crucifer the Cross-marked Grass Snake was found dead in the conservation area on 16/10/2012 – probable cause of death: killed by domestic cat.

The pathway infrastructure needs work as the majority of the small stability poles have come loose or are broken. The bird hide is still in good condition.
The stormwater drains are functional and are not blocked. Please see sections1.4 and 1.6 for more information regarding water management and stormwater infrastructure.
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 (see 1.4 for more information)

The pathway leading to the gate has suffered from severe water erosion from the stormwater drain leading of the main entrance road. The Trustees were approached and recommendations were made to move the pathway to the top section of the conservation area and that the bottom conservation area pathway be closed and rehabilitated to prevent further erosion.

The new pathway was started on 10th October. 17 poles were moved from the bottom pathway to the top and dug in. Plants that were in the new pathway area were transplanted on the same day to areas outside of the pathway. 5 loads of chippings were moved from the bottom pathway onto the new pathway. On 11th October the top pathways vegetation was cut back and the grass was trimmed down. The moving of the pathway continued on 12th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th October. Five hessian bags were bought by the Conservation Site Manager on 12th October to use for erosion control measures along the eroded pathway.

A new latch for the conservation area gate was purchased on 15th October to prevent the gate from slamming shut and creating a noise nuisance when the wind blows it open. Two pieces of rubber and foam were also placed around the gate entrance to try and minimize the slamming noise until the latch could be put up.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

The informal pathway along the top of the Conservation Area prior to the path being established.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

The pathway along the top of the Conservation Area after the formalisation and pathway demarcation started.

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 October 2012:

1st Oct 2012: 0.5 x black bags from Sunrise Blvd Stormwater drain
5th Oct 2012: 0.5 x black bags from gatehouse Stormwater drain
8th Oct 2012: Negligible litter in Conservation area
9th Oct 2012: Negligible litter in Conservation area
10th Oct 2012: Negligible litter in Conservation area
11th Oct 2012: No litter in Conservation area
12th Oct 2012: Negligible litter in Conservation area
15th Oct 2012: 1 x 24L bag litter collected along pathway and from stormwater drains
16th Oct 2012: No litter in Conservation area
17th Oct 2012: Negligible litter in Conservation area
18th Oct 2012: No litter in Conservation area
22nd Oct 2012: 1 x 24L bag litter collected along the pathway and from stormwater drains
31st Oct 2012: 0.5 x black bag litter collected along the pathway and from the stormwater drains and wetland area

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.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

The area next to the Gate House has been cleaned up and is far more presentable 31/10/2012.

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.

Water erosion from the stormwater drain along the main access road continued during rain events. The Trustees agreed to have the pathway moved and to rehabilitate the areas that have suffered from erosion. Hessian bags were purchased to slow and divert the water off the pathway to mitigate further cutting effect. This will be implemented once the majority of the poles have been moved. All of the chippings will be moved off this pathway, the sand will be levelled and seed from common pioneer species will be scattered along the pathway to start rehabilitation efforts. Due to the rehabilitation starting in summer, no plants will be planted now along the pathway as they may die from the strong south easter and the lack of reliable rain.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.                                                 photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Erosion occurring along the pathway close to the gatehouse 29/08/2012 and the pathway after the hessian bags were filled with sand and laid and brush stacked to reduce the water flow 31/10/2012.

The stormwater outlets were inspected on 15 occasions during the month (October).

Sunrise Boulevard stormwater drain has remained open and clean of debris and litter. There were no incidents of the road flooding due to blocked stormwater drains. There was no evidence of dumped material entering the conservation area via the stormwater drains, however a large amount of litter is entering the stormwater system in this way, especially from the Sunrise Boulevard road. The bins should not be washed out in Sunrise Boulevard and all the rubbish let run into the stormwater drains as this ends up in the conservation area.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.                                              photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

The two stormwater drains that bring a large amount of litter into the Conservation Area were kept clean and were not blocked 31/10/2012.

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.

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

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.

It has been noted by the Muizenberg East Site Manager that indigenous plants are being removed from the Conservation Area by complexes adjacent to it and these are being planted in or outside of the complexes – this should be stopped immediately, however with no legal authority acting as a guardian over this land, this will continue to take place.

Sunrise Villas Conservation Corridor.

Site inspections were undertaken on 17th and 19th September.

The majority of the alien plant material originally occurring on the site (Rooikrans and Manatoka) was removed during the construction phase. On-going management of alien species will, however be required for a period of time, as a number of woody plants removed from the site coppice (re-sprout) easily and/or produce large quantities of seeds that can remain dormant for long periods. Re-growth of alien plant species can be expected to continue for a number of years, particularly in the POS and dune conservation area adjacent to site and will need to be managed, in order to allow the indigenous species to become established.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

Various vygie species flowered along the southern landscaped area during October 2012.

Preparations to repair the pathway on the north-eastern side of the development were seen on 11th October. By the 12th October the paving had been replaced and although there are still two large plastic pipes sticking out of the ground in this area, they present little health and safety threat. There are some pieces of builders rubble lying in this area which should be removed. The paving stones that were stockpiled in the clothes drying area have been removed and the area is clear of any safety risk.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

The contractors undertaking the relaying of the pathway along the northwestern corner.

photograph by Cassy Sheasby.

The new paved pathway after completion.

Capricorn Business Park.

Two meetings took place with Capricorn Business Park to discuss the role of the Muizenberg East Site Manager taking over responsibility of the ESQs. These were on 17th and 23rd October. On 17th October the Conservation Site Manager inspected the catch pits and found two juvenile Cape Wagtails trapped in one. With the assistance of the Mountain Men security, the two birds were removed from the water, however the one unfortunately died from drowning. The second one made a full recovery and after being treated for shock, was released the following day in an area close by to re-unite with the parents.

ESQs were undertaken on 23rd October and were reported back to the City of Cape Town ERM Department at the Environmental Advisory Board meeting on 26th October. The ESQ template was converted to an electronic format and sent out to a further 31 businesses on 30th October 2012.

Finalisation of the project agreement is still outstanding.

Capricorn Beach Coastal Corridor.

The next alien hacking session is scheduled for 1st December 2012.

Environmental Education and Awareness:
An invasive alien plant eradication and education session was held with the Capricorn Beach garden and maintenance crew on 11th October 2012. Myoporum tenuifolium (Manatoka) trees were removed and herbicided as well as discussing the impact of invasive alien trees and the differences between Acacia saligna (Port Jacksons) and Acacia cyclops (Rooikrans) for identification. 
Many thanks to Lynn Hains and the gardening team for the opportunity to help and teach.


Chevron Development Site.

A report was received from Councillor D’Alton that the shrubs at Chevron development site were to be cleared and cut down at the end of September. Previously over 200 Cape Dwarf Chameleons were removed from this site and translocated to Zandvlei Nature Reserve and the Muizenberg East Cluster.

On 6th, 11thand 19thSeptember Chameleon translocations were undertaken by the Conservation Manager and the Zandvlei staff. In total 44 individuals were translocated to Bath Road, Zandvlei Nature Reserve.

On 17th October Environserve commenced with site clearance at Chevron. The Muizenberg Site Manager arrived on site during the late morning and introduced herself, asking permission to look around the site for animals that needed to be translocated due to the bush clearance. Bradley and Mr George were very helpful and the site manager was able to convince one of the staff to not take a tortoise home with him and the animal was handed over to the site manager and translocated to Psoralea Private Nature Reserve. A Cape Skink as well as a male and female Cape Dwarf Chameleon were also translocated. A gravid female Cape Dwarf Chameleon was also found who had been hit on her arm by a brushcutter blade – first aid was administered and the arm did start to improve, however due to the trauma of her injuries she aborted her babies. The site is now completely devoid of any natural vegetation, however due to the fact that herbicide was not used on any of the cut stumps including the invasive alien vegetation, this will definitely coppice and within 3 to 6 months the area will be overgrown once more.

Environmental Education:
The Enviroserve staff were given a few quick informal lessons on how to identify Cape Dwarf Chameleons, Angulate Tortoises and Cape Skinks as well as telling male from female.
Information on the keeping of wild animals and reptiles in particular was also supplied to the one member of the team regarding the wanting to keep the Angulate Tortoise for his daughter. Once the regulations were explained and the minimum sizes for captive animals, the inspection schedule and the administration of applying for a captive permit the person decided it was easier to let the animal be moved to a natural area.

Meetings and Administration.



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