The Tygerberg Nature Reserve is alive with the clip-clop of bontebok hooves after a century. The Biodiversity Management branch of the City of Cape Town captured and transferred six bonteboks from the Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West to the Tygerberg Reserve in May 2005.
The transfer of the bonteboks was made possible by the successful breeding programme at the Helderberg Nature Reserve, where an original three animals donated by Somchem in 1996 had increased to 22 animals. This number exceeded the reserve’s carrying capacity and necessitated the transfer. A study was undertaken in November 2004 which recommended the re-introduction of bontebok to the Tygerberg Reserve, as the threatened West Coast Renosterveld would benefit from the re-introduction of grazing antelope.
Bonteboks previously occurred naturally in the area, but were hunted to near extinction during the 1800s, with only 36 animals remaining by the 1940s. Today, there are more than 2 000 bonteboks in South Africa with the population at Tygerberg Nature Reserve numbering 11 (by 2006), thanks to the successful breeding programme.
- Successful capture and transportation of wildlife between City reserves.
- Contributing to the survival of a once endangered species with successful breeding programmes at Helderberg and Tygerberg Nature Reserves.
- Specialised veld management by re-introducing suitable wildlife.
- Increased public and community participation.
- Provision of a monitoring platform for future research and analysis.
For further information, contact:
Ms Penny Glanville (Reserve Manager)
Tel: +27 (0)21 913 5695
Fax: +27 (0)21 913 6268
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