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Nature will rise - Knysna Fires

23 June 2017

This week SANParks’ recent aerial survey of fire scars around the Garden Route National Park show Harkerville as the most affected area. The Kranshoek Viewpoint and picnic areas were badly burnt. Area Manager for Knysna, Johan de Klerk, says ‘the area burnt used to be fynbos islands that turned into thicket because it had not burnt over a few years. The recent fire will turn it back into fynbos.’

The ecological succession will kick in says de Klerk.

There are a few areas where nature will take its cause in Knysna:

  • The burnt veld near the N2. Although that area is not an indigenous forest, it will also recover naturally as there are seeds on the ground. The only indigenous forests there are close to the N2 are towards the Garden of Eden (Harkerville), small pocket along the Brackenhill area and in Tsitsikamma.
  • Residents are encouraged to take ownership of eradicating alien species (please see the attached poster to identify them and also log your query on www.ispotnature.org ). SANParks’ Biodiversity Social Programmes (BSP), teams often in yellow and blue can assist and every Municipality is capacitated to assist residents to identify and eradicate aliens in their own property according to the National Environmental Management Biodiversity Act (NEMBA): file:///C:/Users/340079.SANPARKS/Downloads/NEMBA%20Invasive%20Species%20Lists%20@%2029%20July%202016.pdf .Indigenous trees and plants can be bought at any nursery in the Garden Route.
  • Regarding landslides that could end up in the estuary: Follow up meetings suggest there are different soil types in areas surrounding the Knysna estuary.  Areas with ‘clay type soil’  like Upper Old Place and Hunters Home and more sandy soil closer to the Coast. Only heavy rainfall will lead to a landslide. SANParks has started liaising with an NGO regarding proposed areas for silt traps for areas of concern.

#Nature will rise_Knysna

About The Knysna forests: South Africa’s largest portion of Southern Afrotemperate Forests, spanning across some 60,500 hectares of land, from George to Tsitsikamma in the East.

SANParks Scientists have recorded and documented in the State of Knowledge report (2015) the presence of more than 30 terrestrial habitat types, representing more than 50 forest and fynbos communities within the boundaries of the GRNP.  The forest is a haven for 465 species occurring in the forest areas, over 22 species of amphibians, 24 reptile species, 305 species of birds and some 42% of South Africa’s 290 mammal species. At least 7.1% of the Park’s mammals are listed as Endangered (EN) and 14% as Vulnerable (VU). 

Ways to explore the mystical Knysna forests: Hiking, cycling, bird watching, picnic areas, self-drive routes, museums and tea gardens: https://www.sanparks.org/parks/garden_route/

 Media can contact, Nandi Mgwadlamba, 078 702 9663, nandi.mgwadlamba@sanparks.org

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