CREW, Birdlife host Bioblitz with eThekwini municipality

28 December 2014

KwaXimba conservancy site

The KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) node of the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) Programme, along with BirdLife, recently conducted a Bioblitz on behalf of the community in the KwaXimba stewardship area.

CREW: KZN has been working closely with the Ethekwini Municipality’s Biodiversity Stewardship Programme conducting plant surveys on priority stewardship sites. 

One of the sites is the KwaXimba stewardship area – a large, relatively unspoilt community-owned area near Cato Ridge on the Valley of 1000 Hills. Securing this area for biodiversity has become critical as the area (a link in the N3 corridor between Durban and Gauteng, as well as between Durban and Pietermaritzburg) has been identified as ideal for development into a container hub and industrial node. 

Eulophia streptopetala

Prize find

The community has formed a conservancy and is being actively mentored by the Kloof Conservancy. In response to applying for biodiversity stewardship, the KwaXimba conservancy was tasked to quantify the biodiversity value of the area. The conservancy decided to conduct a Bioblitz on 29 November 2014, championed by the CREW programme and BirdLife.

Metachatina kraussi

According to one of the organisers, Paolo Candotti, the birders were delighted to record 88 species in less than 3 hours. The small group of plant enthusiasts found several interesting plants, fungi, trees and insects. Amongst our finds were the handsome orchid, Eulophia streptopetala, and rather large snail, Metachatina kraussi. But, the prize find for the day was the unusual Ceropegia distincta subsp haygarthii, though not a plant of conservation concern. 

We have recognised some good areas and look forward to further exploration.

Ceropegia distincta subsp haygarthii

For more information please contact:

Suvarna Parbhoo, CREW Programme KZN node manager

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