The KZN Midlands is home to 50 pairs of the 255 Wattled Cranes left in South Africa and also home to 12 active Conservancies. There can be little doubt then that this area is a hot spot of biodiversity.
South Africa ranks as the 3rd most biologically diverse country in the world. However, 34% of terrestrial ecosystems fall within the vulnerable and critically endangered categories. A decrease in ecosystems’ biodiversity is cause for considerable concern because it leads to a reduction in ecosystem services, such as a reduced capacity to generate clean water. The KZN Midlands is an important water catchment area, has forests which are home to the rare Cape Parrot, some of the last moist mist-belt grasslands (which are an important carbon sink) and includes habitats of many endangered species. The very first conservancy established in SA was in Balgowan in 1978 and since then the area has become renowned for commitment to stewardship of natural resources.
In 2010 these conservancies formed the Midlands Conservancies Forum to share ideas, knowledge and discuss common challenges. Working together will support those who are facing daunting tasks and offer advice to the newer conservancies, too. Learning from one another is a vital component of the forum, as everyone has different experiences to share.
This blog provides an opportunity to start conversations about our local biodiversity and the people who care about conserving it. If you have enjoyed reading a post, or have some additional information to share about a particular topic, please post a comment.