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Focus on fynbos<h2 class="sectHeading">Interesting facts about fynbos</h2><p>Fynbos is a unique kind of vegetation that makes up 80% of the <a href="https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1007" target="_blank">UNESCO-honoured Cape Floristic Region<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>, two-thirds of which are found only in the Cape. With more than 7 000 plant species, it is also the richest ecosystem in the Cape Floristic Region. The other relatively extensive vegetation types are renosterveld and strandveld, contributing over 2 000 plant species. Among its 19 vegetation types, Cape Town has six that are endemic. These are confined to the city and only possible to conserve within City boundaries.</p><p>Some of the most famous fynbos flowers are proteas, ericas, buchus, pelargoniums, gazanias, disas and gladioli – beloved to Capetonians and South Africans alike. Read more about the Cape’s unique endemic ecosystem in our fact sheets at the bottom of the page.</p><p> Protea flowers feature as a symbol for our city and parts of our country:</p><ul><li>The City’s new logo is based on a protea flower.</li><li>The Red Disa is the symbol of the Western Cape province.</li><li>The King Protea is South Africa's national flower.</li><li>The South African cricket team is named after the protea.</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact​</h4><p> <b></b> <strong>They are also useful in everyday life: </strong>Rooibos and honeybush are members of the fynbos family and are gaining international popularity as herbal teas. Many types of fynbos were used by the Khoi San in traditional medicine and are being researched today to form part of the government’s investment in indigenous knowledge.</p></div></div></span> <h2 class="sectHeading">Experiencing Cape Town’s fynbos</h2><p>You can see and walk in fynbos, renosterveld and strandveld in many areas in and around Cape Town, including at our <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Our-precious-biodiversity/City-nature-reserves">nature reserves</a>, on the slopes and top of <a title="Table Mountain" href="https://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/" target="_blank">Table Mountain</a><i class="icon link-external"></i>, at Cape Point, in the <a title="Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden " href="https://www.capetown.travel/visitors/see-do/top-attractions/relax-on-the-lawns-of-cape-towns-prettiest-garden" target="_blank">Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> and in the Silvermine Nature Reserve.</p><p>You can also grow your own Cape Floristic Region plants. Visit your local nursery to find out what fynbos, renosterveld and strandveld species are suitable and available for your garden.</p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact</h4><p>Many species of fynbos have such a tiny range that ploughing a field could wipe out the entire world population of those species.</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Threats to our fynbos</h2><p> <strong>Fynbos is threatened by:</strong></p><ul><li>urban expansion;</li><li>agriculture;</li><li> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Our-precious-biodiversity/Our-floral-kingdom">alien invasive plants</a>;</li><li>invasion by afrotemperate forest species; and</li><li>lack of fire or too-frequent fires.</li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">Fynbos and fire</h2><p>Fire regenerates fynbos seeds, which can lie in the soil for decades. Regular summer fires are essential for the survival of fynbos, but it is important that fynbos does not burn too frequently, or infrequently. When fires are too frequent, slower-growing species may be eliminated. If fires are not frequent enough, indigenous forest species invade and may start to take over. Many invasive alien plants burn much quicker (e.g. grasses) and hotter (e.g. tree species) than fynbos. This can lead to the spread and increased severity of wildfires, which can destroy urban properties and endanger human and animal lives.</p><p>City conservation managers fynbos and renosterveld vegetation using prescribed ecological burns, in collaboration with City Fire. This involves careful timing, and is much safer than leaving veld to become senescent and a fire hazard. It also is important for smaller reserves where a natural fire regime no longer occurs. Burning should not take place until the plants have set seed, nor during winter or spring, as this destroys sprouting bulbs and endangers nesting birds.</p><p> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/safety-in-the-home/natural-disasters-and-your-home/wildfires">Uncontrolled fires</a> are a big risk in our region and during windy, summer months, we have to be on high alert.</p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact</h4><p>A fire cycle of 8 to 25 years is considered normal for most fynbos types.</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">Conserving our fynbos</h2><p>The loss of natural areas as well as invasion by alien plants are the main threats to our fynbos. There are many ways for you to help protect our natural environment and its ecosystems.</p> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info note">​​​</i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Please note</h4><p> Call the National Environmental Crimes & Incidents Hotline on <em> <a>0800 205 005</a></em> to report any illegal activity that is threatening the natural environment.</p></div></div></span> <p> <b>Here are some suggestions:</b></p><ul><li> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Get-involved/Volunteer/cape-town-environmental-education-trust/Cape%20Town%20Environmental%20Education%20Trust">Volunteer at one of our nature reserves</a> to assist with controlling invasive species and restoring the veld. </li><li>Maintain biodiversity in your garden by composting, avoiding pesticides, planting indigenous plants, and using fencing that lets small animals move between gardens.</li><li> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/departments/Planning%20and%20Building%20Development%20Management%20Department">Engage with local government </a> to support proper planning of urban areas to prevent urban sprawl.</li><li> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Greener-living/Recycling-at-home/Reduce-your-waste">Reduce, reuse and recycle</a> your waste so we can have cleaner and greener natural areas. </li><li>Reduce your carbon footprint and use less of the earth’s resources by driving less and conserving water, electricity and fossil fuels. Find plenty of tips <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/Greener-living/Why-go-green/Make-smarter-living-choices">here</a>.</li><li>If you know your birds or plants, record and monitor threatened and rare species and help groups like <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Custodians-of-Rare-and-Endangered-Wildflowers-CREW-167173663344071/" target="_blank">Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW)<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> map areas that need conservation.</li></ul> <span> <div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info fastfact">​​</i></div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact​</h4><p> Urban sprawl is when towns and cities keep growing and take up more and more rural and wild land.</p></div></div></span> <p> <b>Which part of the natural world are you passionate about?<br></b>For specific tips on how you can get involved in protecting the different elements of our natural world, see:</p><ul><li> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Our-precious-biodiversity/Preserving-our-biodiversity">Preserving our biodiversity</a></li><li> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Our-precious-biodiversity/Our-floral-kingdom">Our floral kingdom</a></li><li> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Our-precious-biodiversity/The-capes-animal-kingdom">The Cape’s animal kingdom</a></li><li> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Our-beaches-and-coast/Conserving-our-coast">Conserving our coastline</a></li><li> <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/nature-and-outdoors/rivers-and-wetlands/conserve-our-rivers-and-wetlands">Conserving our rivers and wetlands</a> </li></ul>GP0|#70084f63-9c84-4f80-9764-2c4218770fcb;L0|#070084f63-9c84-4f80-9764-2c4218770fcb|Focus on fynbos;GTSet|#ef3a64a2-d764-44bc-9d69-3a63d3fadea1;GPP|#18da33b4-b150-4fb2-9409-e82d667ad4dd;GPP|#553ce1f7-0fea-434b-bbc1-744edbd62039;GPP|#c529c1ac-1f8d-48ae-8079-d34f4dae9c57;GP0|#70c23642-a53f-42ca-a65c-93327660992f;L0|#070c23642-a53f-42ca-a65c-93327660992f|Focus on fynbos;GPP|#accad947-4ac6-4079-b2d7-f98553346e42;GPP|#184712e4-2ee9-4f2d-9e3a-71f917b536fa;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752;GP0|#ceb3f979-1934-4aa0-8418-f54e6ffacc79;L0|#0ceb3f979-1934-4aa0-8418-f54e6ffacc79|Focus on fynbos;GPP|#5616b319-4d6d-4233-a91b-3c66c9a39b7bA look at our precious fynbos, its threats and how we can protect it.

 

 

Biodiversity Fact Sheet 01: Peninsula Shale Renosterveld375823GP0|#be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c;L0|#0be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c|Fact sheet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2011-02-28T22:00:00Z
Biodiversity Fact Sheet 02: Peninsula Granite Fynbos361321GP0|#be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c;L0|#0be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c|Fact sheet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2011-02-28T22:00:00Z
Biodiversity Fact Sheet 03: Peninsula Sandstone Fynbos326637GP0|#be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c;L0|#0be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c|Fact sheet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2011-02-28T22:00:00Z
Biodiversity Fact Sheet 04: Lourensford Alluvium Fynbos372416GP0|#be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c;L0|#0be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c|Fact sheet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2011-02-28T22:00:00Z
Biodiversity Fact Sheet 05: Cape Flats Dune Sand657550GP0|#be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c;L0|#0be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c|Fact sheet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2011-02-28T22:00:00Z
Biodiversity Fact Sheet 06: Cape Flats Sand Fynbos365547GP0|#be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c;L0|#0be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c|Fact sheet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2011-02-28T22:00:00Z
Biodiversity Fact Sheet 07: Endemic Species335086GP0|#be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c;L0|#0be14289f-aba9-47b4-b8d2-dd7e9a637f0c|Fact sheet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2011-02-28T22:00:00Z
Biodiversity: Unique Species Poster1094841GP0|#591e1d8b-7507-4dd3-8a9a-59b5cdd318c6;L0|#0591e1d8b-7507-4dd3-8a9a-59b5cdd318c6|Poster;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2011-01-31T22:00:00Z
Biodiversity: Unique Vegetation Poster796771GP0|#591e1d8b-7507-4dd3-8a9a-59b5cdd318c6;L0|#0591e1d8b-7507-4dd3-8a9a-59b5cdd318c6|Poster;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2011-01-31T22:00:00Z
Fire Prevention Infographic448616GP0|#f10f836d-5770-43e9-a733-7b3eee03d477;L0|#0f10f836d-5770-43e9-a733-7b3eee03d477|Infographic;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2019-04-03T22:00:00Z

 

 

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