Subscribe in Twitter     
Join Travel Africa 360 Community at MyBloglog!         

  • March 2010 (11)
  • February 2010 (11)
  • January 2010 (11)
  • December 2009 (58)
  • November 2009 (6)
  • Cape Floristic Region: Explore wildlife and other species

    Fri, Mar 19, 2010

    South Africa

    South Africa boasts amazing wildlife creatures that cannot be found in the entire world. Those who love to explore the wildlife can visit this country and get the best of the game views and other options. One of the best options to see the wildlife creatures is in Cape Floristic Region. The Cape Floristic Region lies close to the tip of South Africa. It is the only region of the Cape Floristic Kingdom with floristic nature. The Cape Floristic Region is comprised of only one floristic province that is recognized as the Cape Floristic Province.

    The region is also known as the Cape floral region, the Cape floristic Kingdom, Cape floristic province, and the other variants. This region enjoys the Mediterranean climate and covers the Mediterranean climate region of South Africa Western Cape Province that lies in the southwestern border of South Africa. The Cape Floristic Region is rich in flora and fauna that boasts a variety of species to see and believe.

    The maximum amount of area in this region is covered with fynbos, which is a sclerophyll shrubland, home to an astonishing diversity of plant species. It includes many members of the protea family called Proteaceae, Heath family called Ericaceae, and restios that is Restionaceae. Besides this, there are plenty of other vegetation types species are available. You can explore a small Afromontane forest in the humid and sheltered areas. As the region is the home of Fynbos, which is fine bush, you can see a new world of completely different attractions.

    The Cape Floristic Region covers an area of 78,555 square kilometers, making the region a tourist hotspot area. Cape Floristic Region is among the five temperate Mediterranean type systems that are included on the Conservation International hotspots list. Also, the region is among the only two hotspots that is surrounded a complete floral kingdom. Besides the shrubland that consist of hard-leafed, evergreen, and fire-prone shrubs, you will get a vast variety of wildlife species as well. The region was once completely covered by the lush rain forest, but due to the climate changes of nearly 15 million years ago, the area has been changed. The area was filled with trees that were replaced by the flammable sclerophyllous plants, and interrupted fires that became an essential ecosystem process.

    Besides fynbos vegetation types, the Cape Floristic Region highlights amazing life like Renosterveld – Afrikaans for ‘rhinoceros veld’. This plant covers 20,000 square kilometres of area. Those who love to explore the vertebrates in this region can fulfill their wishes, as the region has birds, mammals, reptiles, and others. Amphibians like freshwater fishes could be found in a large number. About the invertebrates, this section includes over 230 species of butterflies out of which nearly 30 percent of them are endemic.

    Out of 320 species of land birds that regularly appears at this region, only six of them are widespread. The region is known as an Endemic Bird Area designated by the BirdLife International. It is the home to many true fynbos species like Cape sugarbird, the orange-breasted sunbird, the Protea Canary, and the Cape siskin. Besides this, you can find more other endemic Cape griffon in the hotspot area. Well, good news about the birds is that none of them is considered as threatened. Mammals in the Cape Floristic Region includes common eland, African buffalo, lions, black rhinoceros, African elephant, Mountain zebra, and hippopotamus.

    However, the population of these animals has disappeared, or is reduced into tiny groups. The region was flourishing with two of the most interesting mammals that lived here and they cannot be found anymore. The two mammals was the bluebuck, which is Hippotragus leucophaeus and the other was quagga that is Equus quagga. It was the subspecies of the plains zebra without stripes on the rear part of the body. These two mammals have been completely disappeared during the 1800s.

    Besides mammals, the region also has a huge diversity of reptiles. Nearly 100 species of reptiles could be found in the region that is widespread. The Cape also boasts an inspiring level of tortoise diversity in the world, out of which five species can be found exclusively. Some of the species comprised of angulate tortoise, parrot-beaked tortoise, and others. Today, the Cape Floristic Region has lost 97% of its habitat and only 2,000 to 3,000 individuals live in nearly 30 localities in a small patch of 50 square kilometers.

    At present, a variety of human activity has gravely endangered the exceptional vegetation of the Cape Floristic Region. Still there are many great attractions make the region an ideal place to visit and explore. So be the one to see the one in South Africa.

    Leave a Reply