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The Cape Shoveler and Otter are coming for the wetland weeds<span><p></p></span><p>These extraordinary aquatic machines will be patrolling the waterbodies for weeds.</p><p>'I want to thank residents for participating in this naming initiative that took place online last month. We received well over a 100 proposals, and some of these were really entertaining and creative,' said the City's Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment, Alderman Eddie Andrews. </p><p>The condition was for proposals to be related to any of the indigenous aquatic animals, including mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, fish or insect species, that roam these vleis, or indigenous plants.<br></p><span><figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"><img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:802px;" /> </figure>​​</span><span><p>The closing date for submissions was 16 July 2023 and thereafter the City's Biodiversity Management branch shortlisted five names for each weed harvester. The lists were distributed to the Protected Areas Advisory Committee (PAAC) for the Zandvlei Nature Reserve and the PAAC for the Table Bay Nature Reserve to select the preferred name for each weed harvester from the shortlist.</p><p>'We have asked the PAACs to make the final decision, as they are independent committees, representing stakeholders and the local communities, and are working closely with the City at the Zandvlei Nature Reserve and the Table Bay Nature Reserve. I also want to thank the PAAC members for taking time in naming our weed harvesters,' said Alderman Andrews.</p><p><strong>Some interesting facts about the names:</strong></p><p><strong>Cape Shoveler:</strong> Is a waterfowl indigenous to the Southern African wetlands. It wields a spatula-shaped bill, and navigates water bodies with efficiency and purpose. The Cape Shoveler thrives in reedy marshes and tranquil lakes. It manoeuvres with ease from serene ponds to sprawling reservoirs, and is a key member of the dynamic world of wetlands.</p><p><strong>Otter:</strong> The Cape Clawless Otter is a freshwater otter species. They have large molars adapted to crushing crabs and lobsters, but also prey on frogs, fish and insects. Their name refers to their unique front feet, adapted for both digging and picking food underwater. They have extremely sensitive whiskers, and mostly hunt from dusk to dawn. The Table Bay Nature Reserve and the Rietvlei section in particular, is home to a small population of otters who are mostly active outside of the visiting hours, but every once in a while staff and visitors are lucky to see them.<br></p> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img src="" class="responsive" alt="" style="width:802px;" /> </figure>​​</span><p>The weed harvesters are specialised vessels, designed to harvest weeds, and are currently being assembled in a factory in Paarden Island.</p><p>'Once delivered, these machines will help us keep Zandvlei and Rietvlei free of weeds and other invasive plant species so that we can improve the water quality. Improving water quality will benefit all of those who use these vleis for recreational purposes, and is in the interest of our natural environment and unique biodiversity,' said Alderman Andrews.</p><p>A third weed harvester will be delivered to Zandvlei in the 2024/25 financial year and this machine will be named at a later stage.</p><p><strong>Caption:</strong> An artist impression of the weed harvesters that are currently being built at the factory in Paarden Island. The names will be applied before the vessels are delivered. </p><p> </p><p><strong>End</strong></p><p><br></p>2023-08-09T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#317ccae8-9eb1-4e45-92f7-504783d48224;L0|#0317ccae8-9eb1-4e45-92f7-504783d48224|machinery;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#469cf9db-51bb-4b3c-ab1d-8a1a935a6073;L0|#0469cf9db-51bb-4b3c-ab1d-8a1a935a6073|environment10

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