Experts race to save fynbos

2012-11-08 14:04
The Western Cape has rich biodiversity. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The Western Cape has rich biodiversity. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

VIDEO: Biodiversity importance

2012-11-08 13:11

CapeNature scientific manager Dr Andrew Turner explains why biodiversity is important in this YouTube video.WATCH

 Cape Town - Fynbos remains threatened and efforts are under way to expand the knowledge of the biome which is unique in the world.

"There are very special vegetation containing large numbers of threatened species and it is quite a challenge trying to conserve all of these tiny bits of land that are scattered all over," CapeNature scientific manager Dr Andrew Turner told News24.

He said that fynbos is particularly threatened by unchecked development in sensitive areas.

"There are definitely various parts of fynbos that are still threatened: There are 163 different fynbos vegetation types and many of these are threatened and particularly it's the vegetation types that occur in the low lying areas - the flat areas that are more suitable for agriculture and other types of human activities that have been transformed in the past and we're now left with little bits here and there."

More detailed techniques have yielded a better understanding of fynbos species, particularly as the environment has caused enough differentiation so that plants and animals have evolved into new and specialised species.

Genetics

"Our level of knowledge on fynbos is reasonably good, but it's not complete.

"Over the last decade or so there have techniques that people have used to distinguish one species from another and that has led to a constant level of description of new species," Turner said on the sidelines of the 2012 Biodiversity Review in Cape Town, which ends on Friday.

In particular, the conference seeks to address the state of biodiversity, as well as threats posed by invasive alien species.

One of the methodologies that has created a better understanding of fynbos has been the use of genetics technologies.

"The approaches that we used in the past continue to be used, but they're now augmented by genetic approaches. Genetics has provided a much more robust and rich data set which we can use to inform our understanding how things have evolved and changed," Turner said.

He argued that information about sensitive areas for biodiversity should be included in detailed land use planning so that development did not have a negative impact on endangered species.

"What we try and do is to incorporate this information about where the remaining biodiversity is into conservation planning so that when people are putting up new developments; plough new land, they do it in areas where it's not going to affect the continued survival of these species."


- Follow Duncan on Twitter

Read more on:    capenature  |  cape town  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Bringing in the snoek

2015-05-23 18:36

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Autobraking: See just how good they are!

Just how good are automatic brakes on cars these days? Two VW models have been praised by top UK research centre Thatcham. Find out why...

 

Stay safe

Pro's and con's of accredited driver-training
Juvenile pillion riders? Play safe...
Need a family ride? SA's top Mommy Cars
Mom's driving-school dream come true
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to go large with your significant other. Let go of obligations, expectations and chores and let the day play...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.