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Our floral kingdom<h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​The biodiversity of the Cape Floristic Region</h2><p> <strong>The world is divided into six floral kingdoms:</strong></p><ul><li>Holarctic kingdom – North American west coast and Central Asia</li><li>Paleotropical kingdom – Central Africa </li><li>Neotropical kingdom – South America</li><li>Australian kingdom</li><li>Holantarctic kingdom – Tip of South America</li><li>Capensis kingdom – Cape Floristic Region, and Western to Eastern Cape of South Africa</li></ul><p>The other five floral kingdoms in the world cover huge areas, whereas the Cape Floristic Region is confined to a small part of one country. The Cape Floristic Region is the smallest and richest for its size of the six floral kingdoms. Its major vegetation types are fynbos, strandveld and renosterveld, and include smaller areas of succulent Karoo, wetlands and forest.</p><p>Take a look at our poster – <a href="" target="_blank">Cape Town’s Unique Biodiversity: Vegetation </a>for more facts and a map of our main vegetation types.</p> <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>Biodiversity refers to the rich variety of plants and animals on the earth.</p></div></div></span> <p>With a staggering 1 300 species per 10 000 square kilometres, we have the highest concentration of plant species on the planet. To put it in perspective: <a href="" target="_blank">Table Mountain<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> alone hosts as many plant species as the UK; all 1 500 species of them.</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> According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Western Cape is more botanically diverse than the richest tropical rainforest in South America. This includes the Amazon, which has 400 plant species per 10 000 square kilometres.</p></div></div>​​ <p> <strong>The Cape Floristic Region is: </strong></p><ul><li>the smallest of the six floral kingdoms;</li><li>the only floral kingdom to be found in one country only; </li><li>home to more than 9 000 species (68% of which are endemic to the Cape Floristic Region); and</li><li>home to highly endangered species – three-quarters of all plants listed in the South African Red Data Book belong to the Cape Floristic Region.</li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info remember"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Remember</h4><p>Our unique Cape Floristic Region is under threat and is a national conservation priority.</p></div></div><p>You can find a full list of threatened plant species in our <a href="" target="_blank">Biodiversity Fact Sheet – Threatened Species</a>.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​Threats to our local plants</h2><p>The main threat to our natural environment is agriculture and urbanisation (the moving of people from the country to the city) through the destruction of natural areas as the city expands. Invasive alien plants and animals are also a major threat. As a port city, Cape Town is especially vulnerable to alien species being brought across on ships.</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> <b>Invasive alien species</b> are any 'foreign' plants or animals that establish and invade natural ecosystems causing harm to our local species and environments.</p></div></div><p> <strong>Uncontrolled invasive alien plants are a threat because they:</strong></p><ul><li>can outgrow indigenous species and upset our local ecological balance;</li><li>compete with local plants for nutrients, water and space;</li><li>can cause genetic contamination by interbreeding;</li><li>can be a fire risk if they burn and spread fire quickly; </li><li>are dense and difficult to clear; </li><li>can limit our land use and agriculture; and</li><li>interfere with water supply and water security.</li></ul><p>Plant invaders are often introduced intentionally. Port Jackson, for example, was brought over from Australia to stabilise Cape sand dunes. Unfortunately, they thrived in our climate and spread quickly, destroying vast areas of indigenous plant life.</p><div class="notification no-devider 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> Invasive alien species are causing billions of rands of damage to South Africa's economy every year and are the single biggest threat to the country's biodiversity.</p></div></div>​​<strong>Take note of some of Cape Town’s most unwanted invasive alien plants and trees:</strong><ul><li>Black Wattle</li><li>Port Jackson</li><li>Pines</li><li>Hakeas</li><li>Gums</li><li>Australian bluebell creeper</li><li>Madeira vine</li><li>Ludwigia</li><li>Water hyacinth</li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​Managing invasive alien species</h2><p>It can be difficult and expensive to bring invasive alien species under control once they have been in our soils for a long time and have seeded.</p><h4> As a resident, you can help us to manage invasive alien plant species:</h4><ul><li>Know your invasive alien plant species.</li><li>Remove invasive alien species in your own community, where possible.</li><li>Plant only indigenous species in your garden.</li><li>Never throw invasive alien species away as part of your waste.</li><li>Immediately report any invasive alien species.</li></ul><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy pink bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <i class="info toptip"></i> </div><div class="desc"><h4>Top tip</h4>Report sightings of invasive aliens to <em></em> <a href=""> <em></em></a>.<a href="">   </a></div> <a href=""> </a></div> <a href=""> </a> <p> The City tries to find invasive plant species at an early stage and get rid of them before they grow. Read more about our <a href="" target="_blank">Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Project<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> or see what others have been doing in our special edition of <a href="" target="_blank">Enviroworks – Invasive Species</a>.</p><p> <strong>It’s not always easy but we find the following methods work best:</strong></p><ul><li>Mechanical – using machines like chainsaws to cut down invader plants</li><li>Manual – removing seedlings by hand or cutting smaller plants down with hand tools</li><li>Biological – using natural enemies like insects, mites or plant pathogens to kill off aliens</li><li>Fire and burning – burning an area or burning stacks after an area has been cleared</li><li>Herbicides – using chemical poisons</li></ul><p>For more information on our approach, see our <a href="" target="_blank">Invasive Alien Species Strategy Action Plan</a>.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​Extra resources for you</h2><p>Find out more about invasive plant (and animal) species on the <a href="" target="_blank">Cape Town Invasives website<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> or <a href="" target="_blank">Facebook page<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> as well as the <a href="" target="_blank">Working for Water website.<i class="icon link-external"></i></a></p><p> <strong>Take a look at our biodiversity posters on Cape Town’s main vegetation types and on our threatened plant and animal species: </strong></p><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Cape Town's Unique Biodiversity: Vegetation</a><br><a href="" target="_blank">Cape Town's Unique Biodiversity: Species</a></p><h4> Also, download and read our special Enviroworks edition on invasive species: </h4><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Enviroworks – Invasive Species </a></p><h4> Find more ways to make a difference in our “How you can help” leaflet:</h4><p> <a href="" target="_blank">Biodiversity Fact Sheet – How You Can Help</a> </p><p>For more tips on protecting all of our biodiversity, see <a href="">Looking after our natural heritage</a>.</p>GP0|#c38b5d3c-d8c2-4b6e-89d4-3203ed92b0d0;L0|#0c38b5d3c-d8c2-4b6e-89d4-3203ed92b0d0|Our floral kingdom;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|#df2fe132-2abe-425b-9a5a-bf8d2374f1c9;L0|#0df2fe132-2abe-425b-9a5a-bf8d2374f1c9|Our floral kingdom;GPP|#accad947-4ac6-4079-b2d7-f98553346e42;GPP|#184712e4-2ee9-4f2d-9e3a-71f917b536fa;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752Learn about the Cape Floristic Region as well as threats and how we can protect it.0



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 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 Fact Sheet 08: Threatened species232959GP0|#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 09: How You Can Help 153566GP0|#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
Enviroworks, Volume 1/12: Special Edition Invasive Species Newsletter2520256GP0|#34ecdb16-f049-4824-b16b-a48c5a88c37b;L0|#034ecdb16-f049-4824-b16b-a48c5a88c37b|Newsletter;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2012-05-31T22:00:00Z
Rural Management Framework101491GP0|#2a0a7e2d-aa1e-42de-b6bf-d25c6b1d8805;L0|#02a0a7e2d-aa1e-42de-b6bf-d25c6b1d8805|Framework;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#4a698fa1-48a1-4def-afa7-749a0e063169;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2002-04-30T22:00:00Z



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