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The Cape's animal kingdom<h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​Animals of the Cape</h2><p> <strong>Cape Town is home to around:</strong></p><ul><li>364 birds</li><li>83 mammals</li><li>27 amphibians (2 endemic)</li><li>8 freshwater fish</li><li>countless invertebrates – more than 140 endemics</li></ul><p>Other mammals in Cape Town include Porcupine, Caracal, Cape fox, African Wild Cat, Honey Badger, Genet and Cape Leopard – to name a few.</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> The Cape has over half of South Africa's frog species. Of the 62 different frogs we have here, 29 are found nowhere else on earth.</p></div></div><p>Our rich <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Our-precious-biodiversity/Our-floral-kingdom">floral kingdom</a> and the <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Our-precious-biodiversity/Focus-on-fynbos">fynbos system</a> in particular supports many creatures. </p><p> <strong>Mammals</strong>: Smaller mammals like baboons, klipspringers, grysbok, dassies, mongooses and the striped field mouse are typical of the area.</p><p> <strong>Birds</strong>: All six bird species endemic to the south-west Cape are fynbos species. Of these, the Cape sugarbird and orange-breasted sunbird are not found in any other type of vegetation. These birds play an important role in pollinating Cape flowers.</p><p> <strong>Insects</strong>: The fynbos supports a large number of butterflies, though many are at risk.</p><p> <strong>Reptiles and amphibians</strong>: Although our fynbos system isn’t very rich in reptiles and amphibians, many of the species are both endemic and threatened. Our geometric tortoise is regarded as the world's second rarest tortoise.</p><p>For information on our freshwater biodiversity, see <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Rivers-and-wetlands/Explore-our-rivers-and-wetlands">Explore our rivers and wetlands</a>. To find out more about marine life, see <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/our-beaches-and-coast/our-unique-coastline">Our unique coastline</a>.</p><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​Endangered animals</h2><p>Our animals, like our plants, are endangered by various things – humans being a major one and invasive species another.</p><p> <strong>What are the biggest threats facing our animal kingdom?</strong></p><p> <strong>Urbanisation</strong>: The main causes of habitat loss are urbanisation and development. More and more people moving into cities fragments the natural environment.</p><p> <strong>Invasive alien species</strong>: Foreign plants and animals often replace the local species. Without predators or natural pests they thrive in the new environment.</p><p> <strong>Fire</strong>: Fynbos needs to burn to survive, but alien grasses and trees interrupt the fire cycle. They either burn too often or with too much heat, destroying the indigenous plants.</p><p> <strong>Overexploitation</strong>: Herds of livestock overgraze and trample the vegetation, allowing alien grasses to take over. In the sea, poaching and over-fishing mean that marine resources struggle to recover, severely threatening both livelihoods and the ecosystem.</p><p> <strong>Pollution</strong>: Wetlands and rivers are polluted by chemicals, oil and sewage collected along stormwater courses. Exhaust fumes can change the composition of the soil, severely affecting plant life and leading to more alien vegetation.</p><p> <strong>Climate change</strong>: Rising temperatures and decreasing rainfall are likely to bring more frequent and intense weather, leading to water shortage, farms failing and flooding, erosion and massive changes to the existing biodiversity.</p><p> <strong>Some of Cape Town’s most endangered creatures:</strong></p><ul><li>Table Mountain Ghost Frog</li><li>Micro Frog (or Cape Flats Frog)</li><li>Geometric Tortoise</li><li>Dickson’s Monkey Blue (butterfly)</li><li>Western Leopard Toad</li><li>Cape Mountain Toad</li><li>Cape Clawed Platanna</li><li>Barber’s Cape Flats ranger (butterfly)</li></ul><p>You can learn more about the Western Leopard Toad with our <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Graphics%20and%20educational%20material/Western_Leopard_Toad_leaflet_2015-02.pdf">Western Leopard Toad Pamphlet</a> and <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Graphics%20and%20educational%20material/Western_Leopard_Toad_poster_2009_06.pdf">poster</a>. Find a more extensive list of threatened species (plant and animal) in our <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Graphics%20and%20educational%20material/Biodiv_fact_sheet_08_ThreatenedSpecies_2011-03.pdf">Biodiversity Fact Sheet:Threatened Species.</a></p><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​​​Seasonal alerts calendar​​​​​​​</h2><p>As urban and agricultural areas grow, natural habitats are threatened and so are the creatures that live within them. Let's work together to protect our wild friends by respecting their spaces and making sure our actions are respectful to them.<br><br>View our seasonal alerts calendar to find out when species are most vulnerable.</p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Inline%20Images/Nature%20Outdoor%20-%20Seasonal%20Calander%20-%20Summer.jpg" alt="" style="width:892px;" />​ </figure> <ul><li>Humpback Whale: May – December </li><li>Fire: November – March </li><li>Nesting birds in reed beds: July – December </li></ul> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Inline%20Images/Nature%20Outdoor%20-%20Seasonal%20Calander%20-%20Autumn.jpg" alt="" style="width:892px;" />​ </figure> <ul><li>Nesting raptors (Black Eagle): April – September </li></ul> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Inline%20Images/Nature%20Outdoor%20-%20Seasonal%20Calander%20-%20Winter.jpg" alt="" style="width:892px;" />​ </figure> <ul><li>Western Leopard Toad: July – September </li><li>Southern Right Whale: July – November </li><li>Humpback Whale: May – December </li><li>Sharks: Winter months (July is best) </li><li>Nesting birds in reed beds: July – December </li><li>Nesting raptors (Black Eagle): April – September </li></ul> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Inline%20Images/Nature%20Outdoor%20-%20Seasonal%20Calander%20-%20Spring.jpg" alt="" style="width:892px;" />​ </figure> <ul><li>Southern Right Whale: July – November </li><li>Humpback Whale: May – December </li><li>Flowers: September </li><li>Nesting birds in reed beds: July – December </li><li>Nesting raptors (Black Eagle): April – September </li></ul> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img class="responsive" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Inline%20Images/Nature%20Outdoor%20-%20Seasonal%20Calander%20-%20All%20Year.jpg" alt="" style="width:892px;" />​ </figure> <ul><li>Bryde's whale </li></ul><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​Invasive alien species</h2><p>Like invasive plants, invasive alien animals are a threat because they:</p><ul><li>outgrow indigenous species and upset our local ecological balance;</li><li>compete with local species for food, water and space; and</li><li>can cause genetic contamination by interbreeding.</li></ul><p> Take note of our most unwanted alien animals: </p><ul><li> <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Graphics%20and%20educational%20material/Invasive_Guttural_Toad_flyer_v4.pdf" target="_blank">Guttural toad </a></li><li>German wasp</li><li>European wasp</li><li>House crow </li></ul><p> You can help us control invasive alien animals from harming our indigenous species by reporting any sightings. Please see our contact details below.</p><h4>Guttural toad sightings </h4><p> <em>Email:</em><br><a href="mailto:gutturaltoads@ncc-group.co.za"><em>gutturaltoads@ncc-group.co.za</em></a></p><p> <em>WhatsApp:</em><br><em><a>082 849 6611</a></em> (Richard) or  <em><a>072 037 3034</a></em> (Jonathan)</p><h4>German wasp, European wasp and other invasive alien species sightings</h4><p> <em>Telephone: </em> <br> <em> <a>021 444 2356</a></em> / <em> <a>021 444 2357</a></em></p><p>You can also <a href="https://www.edrr.co.za/" target="_blank">report invasive alien species online<i class="icon link-external"></i></a> or on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ctinvasives" target="_blank">Facebook<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>.</p><p>Find out more about how the City manages alien species in our <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/City%20strategies%2c%20plans%20and%20frameworks/Invasive_Alien_Species_Strategy%2BAction_Plan_v01_2008-09.pdf" target="_blank">Invasive Alien Species Strategy Action Plan</a>.</p><div class="notification with-heading dark-copy light-blue bg-light-grey"><div class="graphic with-border"> <span class="info fastfact">​​</span></div><div class="desc"><h4>Fast fact​</h4><p> <strong></strong>Cecil John Rhodes deliberately introduced fallow deer and grey squirrels to make him feel more at home. Rats and house crows arrived on ships, accidentally.</p></div></div><h2 class="sectHeading">​​​​​​​​Find out more</h2><p>Find out more about invasive plant and animal species on the <a title="Cape Town Invasives website" href="https://www.capetowninvasives.org.za/" target="_blank">Cape Town Invasives website<span class="icon link-external"></span></a> or on their <a href="https://www.facebook.com/ctinvasives" target="_blank">Facebook page<i class="icon link-external"></i></a>. Download and print our posters showing Cape Town’s main <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Graphics%20and%20educational%20material/Biodiversity_poster-CT_Unique_Biodiv_VEGETATION_2011-02.pdf" target="_blank">vegetation types</a> and our <a href="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/documentcentre/Documents/Graphics%20and%20educational%20material/Biodiversity_poster-CT_Unique_Biodiv_SPECIES_2011-02.pdf" target="_blank">threatened plant and animal species</a>. For more tips on protecting all of our biodiversity, see <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Explore%20and%20enjoy/Nature-and-outdoors/Our-precious-biodiversity/Looking-after-our-natural-heritage">Looking after our natural heritage</a>.</p><p>Call the national Environmental Crimes and Incidents Hotline on <em> <a>0800 205 005 </a></em>if you see anything illegal.​​ </p>GP0|#478a43bd-ab59-4912-8721-cf4ad53a9352;L0|#0478a43bd-ab59-4912-8721-cf4ad53a9352|The Cape's animal 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|#9d405c6e-bcb5-48a5-9492-63382c4475ce;L0|#09d405c6e-bcb5-48a5-9492-63382c4475ce|The Cape's animal kingdom;GPP|#accad947-4ac6-4079-b2d7-f98553346e42;GPP|#184712e4-2ee9-4f2d-9e3a-71f917b536fa;GPP|#af370586-9ba3-404a-9d6e-02066ca42752An introduction to some of the Cape’s more common and endangered animals.

 

 

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: 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
Invasive Guttural Toad Pamphlet144071GP0|#367c7831-4239-4ad6-824a-c4325897c033;L0|#0367c7831-4239-4ad6-824a-c4325897c033|Pamphlet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2015-12-31T22:00:00Z
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
Rural Management Framework for the City of Cape Town36595117GP0|#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-9601f17b780e2008-08-31T22:00:00Z
Western Leopard Toad Pamphlet1249462GP0|#367c7831-4239-4ad6-824a-c4325897c033;L0|#0367c7831-4239-4ad6-824a-c4325897c033|Pamphlet;GTSet|#f1e8889f-f7d7-4d5b-a3f5-af0ca2e076ea;GPP|#5340fe0b-73a7-472c-bef7-04e450fb5c4f;GPP|#0972c695-fd19-46c4-ab5d-9601f17b780e2015-01-31T22:00:00Z
Western Leopard Toad Poster446278GP0|#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-9601f17b780e2009-05-31T22:00:00Z

 

 

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