Biodiversity of Cape Town

The Biodiversity of Cape Town is the variety and variability of life within the geographical extent of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality, excluding the Prince Edward Islands. The terrestrial vegetation is particularly diverse and much of it is endemic to the city and its vicinity. Terrestrial and freshwater animal life is heavily impacted by urban development and habitat degradation. Marine life of the waters immediately adjacent to the city along the Cape Peninsula and in False Bay is also diverse, and while also impacted by human activity, the habitats are relatively intact.

Cape Town's original vegetation types
Cape Town's surviving vegetation types

Floristic region (phytochorion)Edit

The City of Cape Town lies within the Cape Floristic Kingdom, by far the smallest and most diverse of the earth's six floristic kingdoms,[1] an area of extraordinarily high diversity and endemism, and home to over 9,000 vascular plant species, of which 69 percent are endemic.[2] Much of this diversity is associated with the fynbos biome, a Mediterranean-type, fire-prone shrubland.[2] The economical worth of fynbos biodiversity, based on harvests of fynbos products (e.g. wildflowers) and eco-tourism, is estimated to be in the region of R77 million a year.[2] Thus, it is clear that the Cape Floristic Region has both economic and intrinsic biological value as a biodiversity hotspot.[2]

Vegetation typesEdit

Cape Town is located within a Conservation International biodiversity hotspot and is home to a total of 19 different and distinct vegetation types. (This enormous variety is mainly because the city is uniquely located at the convergence point of a great many different soil types and micro-climates.) These 19 vegetation types are mostly restricted to unusually small areas, and several are completely endemic to the city – occurring nowhere else in the world. Vegetation types include the following.[3][4]

EndemismEdit

 
Table Mountain as seen from Bloubergstrand. Some examples of the region's plant biodiversity is seen in the foreground.

Of the thousands of plant species that are indigenous to Cape Town, 190 are known to be endemic to the city - occurring nowhere else in the world. In addition, there are over a hundred animal species that are also restricted to the city.[5] Endemic plant species include the following.[clarification needed] [6][7][8][9][10]

Cape Peninsula endemics
Additional species

Species records in South African Biodiversity DatabaseEdit

MammalsEdit

Mammals present in Cape Town, as of 2011, including the following.[11][clarification needed][12][clarification needed]

FishEdit

Fish present in Cape Town, as of 2011, including the following.[11][12]

ReptilesEdit

Reptiles present in Cape Town, as of 2011, including the following.[11][12]

AmphibiansEdit

Amphibians present in Cape Town, as of 2011, including the following.[11][12]

InsectsEdit

Insects present in Cape Town, as of 2011, including the following.[11][12]

FungiEdit

Fungi present in Cape Town, as of 2011, including the following.[11][12]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Environmental Resource Management in the city of Cape Town". Archived from the original on 2014-05-20. Retrieved 2011-01-06.
  2. ^ a b c d Odendaal L. J., Haupt T. M. & Griffiths C. L. (2008). "The alien invasive land snail Theba pisana in the West Coast National Park: Is there cause for concern?". Koedoe – African Protected Area Conservation and Science 50(1): 93-98. abstract, doi:10.4102/koedoe.v50i1.153.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-08-24. Retrieved 2014-02-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-04. Retrieved 2011-01-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Endemic Species of the city of Cape Town" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-12-23. Retrieved 2011-10-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-11-01. Retrieved 2011-02-06.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ A.B. Low & A.G. Rebelo (eds). Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho & Swaziland, a companion to the vegetation map of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Dept Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Pretoria. 85pp. ISBN 0-621-17316-9.
  9. ^ A.G. Rebelo, C. Boucher, N. Helme, L. Mucina, M.C. Rutherford et al. 2006. Fynbos Biome, in: L. Mucina & M.C. Rutherford (eds). The Vegetation of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Strelitzia 19, pp 52‐219.
  10. ^ Anthony G. Rebelo, Patricia M. Holmes, Clifford Dorse & Julia Wood. Cape Town: Averting a Biodiversity Megadisaster? Unpublished MS.
  11. ^ a b c d e f http://www.biodiversity.co.za/
  12. ^ a b c d e f Updated from South African Biodiversity Database (http://www.biodiversity.co.za/) as species present in Cape Town on 2011/01/06