Catalysts for conservation in the Walker Bay
Established in 2003, the Grootbos Foundation had a vision of conserving the Cape Floral Kingdom and uplifting the communities therein – and has achieved this throughout the years.
The Foundation creates sustainable project models in order to assist the communities in the Walker Bay region and beyond. Many of these projects generate their own income and/or are partially self-sustaining, ensuring they grow (and continue to support their beneficiaries).
Research at the Grootbos Foundation.
Now – 16 years down the line – what is the Foundation focused on?
1. Supporting conservation through the Conservancy
As a founding member of the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy, the Grootbos Foundation plays a lead role in supporting the Conservancy. Over the past 20 years, the Conservancy has grown to 38 members, protecting 20 000 hectares of lowland fynbos and forest within the Walker Bay Region. The Conservancy has cleared nearly 10,000 hectares of invasive alien species in 20 years, including its involvement in the ABI Alien Clearing Project (facilitated by Flower Valley Conservation Trust).
2. Garnering support from landowners
The Foundation started conducting “Bio-Blitzes” on properties in the Walker Bay region – a way of exciting landowners about the enormous wealth of fauna and flora on their properties.
“Bio-Blitzes” are short, intense surveys, itemising and identifying key fauna and flora species, which is then put into comprehensive reports to share with these landowners, encouraging conservation efforts on each property.
3. Grootbos Nature Reserve – a pollinator’s dream
With over 800 plant species recorded on Grootbos, of which 75 are of conservation concern, and of which six are new to science – the area is clearly a wonderland for insects and pollinators. Now two entomologists have joined the Grootbos conservation team to conduct collaborative insect surveys on Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.
4. Monitoring endangered wildlife through camera traps
Motion sensing cameras are an effective and non-invasive means to monitor the elusive and nocturnal wildlife in the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy and surrounding area. This is an ongoing project, using a grid-based system to gather conclusive data of the wildlife activity inside and outside the protected area. The aim of the project is to create an understanding of the wildlife occupying our region.
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