New kid on the block: The Gantouw Project

The word Gantouw is derived from the Khoekhoen, meaning ‘eland path’, possibly the route the eland took across the Hottentots Holland Mountains.

This exciting new project which started in June is gaining momentum and primarily aims at investigating eland as a veld management tool for the City’s nature reserves.  The project is a partnership between CTEET and the City of Cape Town’s Biodiversity Management Branch.

The initial focus is on the endemic, threatened ‘Cape Flats Dune Strandveld’ in False Bay. One of the threats to the Strandveld being bush encroachment.  Through the reintroduction of these ‘once-local’ large herbivores; the project aims to investigate the utilization of the vegetation by the eland related to the browsing pressure on the veld necessary to reduce bush encroachment and increase biodiversity.

Dedicated project staff and volunteers are preparing the first site for the arrival of the eland which includes clearing vegetation along the fence lines, extending fences to a height of 2.4m and erecting a boma to house the eland.

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