Renosterveld diversity shines across Southern Hemisphere

Renosterveld diversity shines across Southern Hemisphere

If you need any proof of the diversity of wildlife you’ll find in renosterveld, look no further than the Great Southern Bioblitz 2023.

During this event, people across the Southern Hemisphere photograph and log all the species they see on the iNaturalist application in the space of four days in late November. Regions such as the Overberg, Overstrand, Cape Town and others in Australasia and South America then compete against each other, to see who can log the most observations and the most species identified on the app.

In the Overberg district, the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust team once again joined this fun initiative – which also provides essential monitoring data which feeds into conservation initiatives and activities. And while the traditional renosterveld springtime had long since passed, the team still managed to log over 1600 observations with more than 600 species between them. This is 30% more species and 40% more observations than recorded for the GSB 2022 for our team. And in fact, the diversity of recorded species is considerably higher than this, but because so species, especially many invertebrates, can’t be identified beyond genus or family level, they are not counted on iNaturalist as separate species, but are rather consolidated into a genus or family level.

Surveys were undertaken mostly in Endangered Eastern Rûens Shale Renosterveld and Critically Endangered Rûens Silcrete Renosterveld on four properties. A late summer Bioblitz allowed us to record plants that flower early in summer and a surprising number of invertebrates. Although it’s hard to elevate any of the taxa above another, the insect life recorded was incredible, with more than 160 different species recorded and a staggering 17 butterfly species!

Here’s the breakdown

Odette Curtis-Scott

Observations: 751

Species: 360

Grant Forbes

Observations: 585

Species: 335

Nande Notyalwa

Observations: 300

Species: 169