3. Bushmanland Inselbergs

The Bushmanland Inselbergs area is located on the northeast margin of the Succulent Karoo Hotspot, just south of the Orange River and the border between Namibia and South Africa.

The area is dominated by a plain of desert grasslands and peppered by Inselbergs, ancient rocky outcrops in irregular patterns.

These Inselbergs are important refugia for plants and animals and act as stepping-stones for rock-loving species migrating east west across the sand-covered plains of Bushmanland. Isolation of populations has led to diversification within the dwarf succulent shrublands.

In total, the 31,400-hectare area includes 429 plant species, of which 67 are found only in this hotspot and 87 are Red List species. Mining has impacted many of the Inselbergs, and a proposed opencast Zinc mine may devastate most of the spectacularly diverse Gamsberg Inselberg, home to two flagship endemics: Conophytum Ratum and Lithops Dorotheae. The Red Lark (Certhilauda albescens) is also an important endemic species, although severe overgrazing on communal lands in this part of the Bushmanland plateau is impacting its habitat.

Key facts

Refuge for plants and animals in a time of climate change.

Spectacularly diverse dwarf succulent shrublands.

Flagship species

Lithops dorotheae, The Red Lark, Burger’s Onion, Conophytum burgeri.

Famous places

Gamsberg Inselberg and Pella.

Pressures

Mining and overgrazing.

Additional information