The Nuwejaars Wetlands region has never been a stronghold for Renosterveld. Fynbos, yes. And especially Critically Endangered Fynbos such as Elim Ferricrete Fynbos.
But of the Renosterveld patches that may have occurred here in past centuries, little remains today.
Or so we thought – until we were visited by Renosterveld expert, Dr Odette Curtis-Scott.
Odette is the Director of the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust. And during a trip over the Nuwejaars Wetlands Special Management Area, the team enjoyed Renosterveld-botanizing with her.
Notably, Odette pointed out that many of the Renosterveld species occurred in our transition areas between the Fynbos landscapes and productive lands. Because many of the remaining patches occur along edges of cultivated lands, or fence lines, it’s vital that it’s managed appropriately. That means the correct fire regimes and livestock management, and removing invasive plants.
Why do we care about our Renosterveld?
Because Renosterveld is one of the most threatened habitats globally. It’s listed as Critically Endangered, with only 5% of the original extent remaining. Most Renosterveld patches are found on small fragments of land that are smaller than 100 ha in size. Despite this, Renosterveld is home to a large range of threatened plants and animals.
Here are some of the species we tracked down on the Nuwejaars:
Freesia caryophyllaceae (Near Threatenend)
Euphorbia tuberosa (Least Concern)
Crassula ciliata (Least Concern)
Hermannia flammula (Least Concern)
Clutia tomentosa (Least Concern)
Dr Odette Curtis-Scott and her daughter, Molly.