PRESENTATION SUMMARY OF THE VERLORENVLEI PROTECTED AREAS PROJECT
Posted on the 26th September 2016
Presentation Summary for Western Cape Birding Forum Meeting – 1 Oct 16
Verlorenvlei Protected Areas Project
(This is a summary of the illustrated talk on this project that will be presented at the Western Cape Birding Forum meeting on Saturday 1 October).
The aim of the Project is to assist landowners in the Moutonshoek valley and Verlorenvlei Estuary to create and maintain their vision of a productive, yet sustainable landscape. This is being achieved through the declaration of a Protected Environment in Moutonshoek and a conservancy around Verlorenvlei. The conservancy will allow for the inclusion of existing stewardship sites around the vlei.
Verlorenvlei is a waterbody of great beauty with over 180 bird species using it as their home and surrounded by a community of mostly intensive agriculture landowners. The landowners who live, breathe and farm these areas are at the centre of such projects, and if conservation is to succeed, we need to meet their needs, as well as our own. But what are these needs, and how can conservationists meet them? The Verlorenvlei Protected Areas Project was initiated to implement stewardship actions around Verlorenvlei Estuary, which is both a Ramsar site and Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). Biodiversity stewardship is essentially about building trust with private landowners and working in partnership to protect important ecosystems.
The Krom Antonies River which runs through Moutonshoek supplies 60% of the water volume and 90% of the water quality to the Verlorenvlei Estuary, which is listed as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA SA 103) and a Ramsar site. This secretive river contains three threatened fish species, namely the endangered Verlorenvlei Red, which is genetically different from the Berg River Redfin and therefore a new species of its own. The Cape Galaxias and Cape Kurper are both classified as Near Threatened and also found within this river system.