These are no ordinary spring Renosterveld snaps

These are no ordinary spring Renosterveld snaps

Renosterveld is more than simply a plethora of pretty – but also endangered – flowers. If this spring season reminded us of anything, it’s that Renosterveld is a hub of life. It’s where wildlife can forage for food, find sanctuary from predators, breed hidden from watching eyes, and move about secretly.

Every spring, the Overberg Renosterveld Conservation Trust team spends as much time as they can in the field – especially at those sites that have been signed into the Conservation Easement Programme. During this flowering and breeding season, the team can monitor which flower species are popping up, and how well their populations are doing. They can also experience and log OTHER Renosterveld species – from the shy spiders to the miniature mammals.

Many of these Renosterveld fragments are very small – often only a hectare or two in size (approximately the size of a rugby field). And yet compared to the agriculture lands beside them, they are teeming with the most incredible and cute animals.

Our ORCT team, Odette Curtis-Scott (Director), Grant Forbes (Conservation Manager) and Nande Notyalwa (Intern) hauled out their cameras, got onto their elbows and snapped away at all the biodiversity they saw.

Here are some of the incredible spring snaps from the team: an exhibit that shows that saving Renosterveld is all about saving an entire ecosystem.

Protecting in perpetuity

Much monitoring takes place on easement sites. Here farmers have committed to protect their Renosterveld fragments by signing conservation servitudes attached to title deeds in perpetuity. Because of this commitment, the ORCT dedicates time and resources to these patches, helping to manage them where necessary – including removing invasive trees, undertaking ecological burns, managing livestock grazing and dedicating their monitoring efforts there.

The Caledon Commonage

Not all of the sites are on private land. In fact, some are accessible to the public, belonging to municipalities, such as commonages. The Cape Agulhas Municipality has signed two conservation easements with the ORCT to protect two sites in the municipal area. The Caledon Commonage, in the Theewaterskloof Municipality, is not protected through this formal mechanism (although we hope to change this!) – and is home to some incredible species.

A show and tell for the veld’s custodians

These photos are not just a fun hobby for the team. Aside from allowing the ORCT to survey sites, they’re also a vital tool to show to landowners the biodiversity wealth of their land. These landowners are the custodians of their veld. The photos prove to them that what they have is worth protecting – at all costs.

Our wonderful Ford Rangers enable us to travel to, and within, renosterveld remnants across the Overberg, so that we can carry out extensive and intensive surveys and capture these images of our beautiful Biodiversity.