Fauna and Flora
The Blaauwberg Nature Reserve (BBNR) represents one of the most intact and diverse lowland habitats near Cape Town, and marks the beginning of the West Coast flora. It comprises 3 very threatened lowland vegetation types: Cape Flats Dune Strandveld, Cape Flats Sand Fynbos and Swartland Shale Renosterveld. Two transitional vegetation types also occur. The combination of these vegetation types is seldom found in one conservation area. Renosterveld is one of the most highly threatened vegetation types in South Africa – only approximately 3% remains, of which less than 1 % of its original extent is formally conserved. Only half of the original Strandveld vegetation and a mere 1,2% of Sand Fynbos has survived on the Cape Flats.
Over 600 plant species have been identified to date in an area of approximately 2000 ha (the entire British Isles has only approximately 1500 plant species) including 45 Red Data plant species.
The BBNR is also home to:
- 45 species of mammal. Historically, many larger mammals existed and there are plans to re-introduce several of these species.
- 30 species of reptiles
- 4 amphibian species
- 30 species of butterfly are known or anticipated to occur here. 2 Red Data mammal species have been recorded in the BBNR.
- 169 bird species have been recorded, including the threatened African Black Oystercatcher.
Birding in the BBNR is a rewarding experience. Six of the seven seabirds endemic to South Africa can be seen, namely the Bank, Cape and Crowned Cormorant, Cape Gannet, Hartlaub’s Gull and the African Penguin. Palaearctic waders abound during summer.
A species list for the BBNR can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet - Species List
Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW)
A CREW group conducts a monthly guided botany walk on the Coastal Dune Trail. It normally occurs on the first Saturday of the month.
A pocket guide is also available that provides valuable assistance when walking the Coastal Dune Trail. It contains photographs and descriptions of the various flowers the visitor can see in the area, depending on the month of the year. The Guide is for sale at the Eerstesteen offices and can be viewed via the links on the right, or downloaded in PDF format.
See Upcoming Events for the next hike.