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Supporting and driving conservation initiatives in Cape Town.

Nature Care Fund

Nature Care Fund

The Nature Care Fund was established to support conservation activities in Cape Town. The fund is structured to invest and disburse monies from Private individuals, Corporate companies, Friends groups and other bodies towards nature conservation projects.

The focus is predominantly on supporting the efforts of the City’s Biodiversity Management Branch that works to uphold the Cape Town Biodiversity Network. This is a network of conservation areas with varying status levels of priority aimed at ensuring the conservation of biodiversity and ecological processes and maintenance of ecosystem functioning. Project funds for over 30 ring-fenced accounts are tightly monitored, regularly reported on and audited annually.

The Nature Care Fund portfolio has three focus areas: the management of Conservation Areas; projects involving Species Protection; and the Small Grants Facility.

407

Acres of endangered vegetation
under conservation

71

Endangered species
protected

R 23 029 419

Investment into conservation projects
since 2008

Conservation Areas

Atlantic Beach Conservation Area

In partnership with the Atlantic Beach Golf Club and the City of Cape Town an important ecological corridor between the Blaauwberg Nature Reserve and the Melkbos/Koeberg conservation area will be maintained through conservation of the 22ha of dune strandveld protected within the golfing estate.

Louis van Wyk together with two recent graduates of the CTEET Training and Development programme are responsible for on-site activities.

Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area

Contained within the Kenilworth Racecourse is 52ha of one of the last and arguably the most important conservation sites of the critically endangered vegetation Cape Sand Plain Fynbos, hosting a number of rare and endemic plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world and the remarkable story of reintroduction of a plant species, Erica verticillata, that was extinct in the wild.

Managing the site is Sabelo Memani assisted by Ismail Wambi and Tania Snyders and a team of expanded Public Works Programme staff.

Milnerton Racecourse Section, Table Bay Nature Reserve

Nestled in the heart of the Milnerton racecourse is a remnant patch of 19ha of Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, containing 333 plant species 34 of which are Red Data species. Despite being of such small size a population of grysbok remains and evidence of their low browse line can be seen when going on one of the season walks through the reserve. Kyran Wright manages this site, also acting as a mentor for a number of CTEET interns and learners.

Muizenberg East Biodiversity Cluster

The Muizenberg East Biodiversity Cluster is a result of the Environmental Authorisation coming out of the Development application process – as a consequence, a number of small conservation areas of 2-9ha are distributed through an urban matrix. The vegetation is endangered Cape Flats Dune Strandveld and some of the sites contain critically endangered flora and fauna. Despite the sites appearing seemingly isolated there is enough connectivity to allow for movement of game with camera traps revealing cape grysbok, porcupine, small spotted genet, water mongoose, cape spurfowl moving between the sites. Andrea von Gunten, has been the Site Manager since 2015 and continues to be a mentor a number of staff and interns.

Princess Vlei

The Princess Vlei is the gateway to the wetland system that runs through Grassy Park, purifying the water before it runs into the sea. This is a site with unique social environmental value and was until recently under threat of the development of a shopping mall. The Princess Vlei Forum is a nonprofit organisation comprising individuals and organisations to ensure the ongoing conservation of the Greater Princess Vlei Conservation Area (GPVCA) for the benefit of communities and nature.

CTEET is working with the Princess Vlei Forum to protect and conserve Princess Vlei. In September 2017 Denisha Anand was appointed the Site Manager, based at the Princess Vlei Eco-Centre.

Strandfontein Birding Area

Considered as one of South Africa’s IBAs (Important Birding Areas) Strandfontein contains a number of important breeding and migratory bird species and contributes to the Ramsar status bestowed on the False Bay Nature Reserve in 2015.

In partnership with the Cape Bird Club and Birdlife SA conservators have been placed on the site for the past 8 years in order to manage the site and monitor the bird populations of the 202 species found there. Erica Essig, formerly a CTEET employee was appointed as the site manager in 2013 and is assisted on site by Clint Williams.

Zoarvlei Section, Table Bay Nature Reserve

This section of the Table Bay Nature Reserve is situated between Paarden Eiland Industrial Centre and the suburbs of Rugby and Brooklyn. This wetland reserve is 140 ha in size, with 87 species of plants occurring on site.

Reward Nzuza is the Site Manager, working towards clearing alien invasives, restoring indigenous species and managing the industrial rubbish being washed into the wetland.

Alien Invasive Programme

Aquatic and terrestrial plant species introduced to South Africa from other parts of the world form one of the greatest threats to the Cape Floristic region and may be responsible for the loss of species and shifts on the functioning of the ecosystems. Billions of Rands and a great deal of resources have been directed towards controlling the densification and spread of alien invasive plants and a National drive towards job creation through Expanded Public Works Programmes has taken place.

In Cape Town over 750 unemployed people have been employed through the EPW Programmes and managed by the Green Jobs Unit, a division of the Environmental Resource Management Department. CTEET currently contracts 20 people to assist with the Administration of the Unit as well as the scientific and technical aspects of alien plant control across the City.

Species Protection

Gantouw Project

In an attempt to conserve the biodiversity and natural ecological process of the endangered Cape Dune Strandveld occurring in the False Bay Nature Reserve a project was launched in 2015 whereby 5 young eland were reintroduced onto the nature reserve, the first time eland have been present for over 200 years.

In addition to the desired reduction in spread of certain bush and tree species, a phenomenon known as bush-encroachment, the project will yield some valuable scientific results with close monitoring of changes to floral and faunal composition over time as well as seasonal diet shifts of the eland. The value of the project has also been towards the appointment of three graduates of CTEET’s training programmes as eland monitors.



Burghers Walk African Penguin Conservation

The endangered African Penguin is battling depleted fish stocks and reduced nesting grounds across its historic range with numbers of birds having plummeted from 4 million birds at the turn of the 19th century to an estimated 21 000 breeding pairs today. The numbers continue to drop dramatically with the population having declined by 75% since 2000.

To manage the birds that were settling out of the Boulders Beach penguin colony a partnership between SANCCOB, CTEET, SanParks and the City of Cape Town was established in 2010 and which saw the appointment of conservators to monitor the penguins population and breeding, controlling access to the penguins by the public, moving the penguins off the roads and out of peoples gardens, and collecting injured birds for rehabilitation at the SANCCOB facilities. This project would not be possible were it not for the generous financial support rendered by SANCCOB and the determined collaboration of all parties.

Kedestes Conservation Project

The Barber’s Ranger, Kedestes barberae bunta, is a Critically Endangered skipper butterfly poised on the edge of extinction. Endemic to the Cape Flats region this species has an extremely low abundance with an estimated remaining population of 50 individuals. It has a very restricted range, with the last population recorded within the Pelican Park section of the False Bay Nature Reserve within an area of only 2.72km2. The aim of this project is to establish a captive breeding population of K.b.bunta and a new viable population of K.b.bunta at new sites.

The project will also concentrate on another Cape Flats region endemic, the Endangered Kedestes lenis lenis (the Unique Ranger). This species is currently only known to occur at False Bay Nature Reserve, Zandvlei Nature Reserve and areas around the Strandfontein community. This skipper butterfly resides in and around the same habitat and utilises the same larval food plant (sword grass) as K.b.bunta.

Western Leopard Toad Underpass Project

Corey Thorp heads up the Western Leopard Toad Underpass project, thanks to a partnership with Leisure Charitable Trust.

During the Western leopard toad breeding season many toads are being killed on the roads by passing vehicles and these road deaths are currently the biggest threat to the population. This project is focused on creating an alternative route for these toads to cross in order to keep them safe from harm. The aim of this project is to design and construct an underpass (underground tunnel) on Peninsula Road for the toads to pass through.

Small Grants Facility

CTEET has been appointed as a facility to issue small grants on behalf of the Table Mountain Fund.

This latest addition to the Nature Care Fund will focus on working with communities around the natural areas in Cape Town. This project aims to create a greater awareness, strengthen leadership roles, capacitate youth, and grow and develop new entrants into the conservation space with the long term focus on the new entrants venturing into the Green Economy.

We are very excited to be one of these facilities and look forward to working with inspiring organisations to change lives through nature!

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