Specialists chomp away at overgrowth

Eland have been reintroduced to the Cape Flats for the first time in 200 years to control overgrown vegetation and protect biodiversity in the False Bay Nature Reserve.
Eland have been reintroduced to the Cape Flats for the first time in 200 years to control overgrown vegetation and protect biodiversity in the False Bay Nature Reserve.
Nicole Mccain
The False Bay Nature Reserve is receiving help from a new specialised conservation team.
Five eland have been introduced to the Rondevlei section of the Reserve to control growth of dominant plant species and improve biodiversity.
Some species have become overgrown, which impacts on the vulnerable endemic flora and fauna.
Although it is unclear exactly when the last eland was hunted from the Cape Flats, it is estimated the antelope have not roamed here for as much as 200 years.
Eland are present in the Cape Peninsula at Cape Point, but until now have been absent from the Cape Flats, as most of the remaining natural areas are too small or have complex social problems that make the reintroduction of eland impossible.
The three-year pilot project, a partnership between the Cape Town Environmental Education Trust and the City of Cape Town, aims to replicate the eland’s historical natural migration patterns, which will also play a vital role in the conservation of species and ecosystems.
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