Verlorenvlei Estuary Could Become Protected Area

verlorenvlei-west-coast-elandsbayThe Verlorenvlei Estuary and its water catchment area near Elands Bay on the Cape West Coast could soon become protected areas. The area is home to over 200 bird species, including the White pelican and endemic fish. 


 

BirdLife South Africa and the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) were recently granted funding for the project. 
 

Birdlife South Africa's Regional Conservation Manager, Dale Wright says, "In the partnership with Cape Nature we'll be looking at transferring what is Department of Public Works land across to the provincial conservation agency."

Verlorenvlei is one of the most important estuarine systems in the Western Cape and one of the largest natural wetlands along the west coast of South Africa.

Wright says, "We have Cape Nature’s support on that. They'll be driving that process. That'll mean the water body itself will be declared a provincial nature reserve, but it might take a number of years. At the same time, what we'll be looking to do is to protect the catchment which supplies the estuary with water."

 Verlorenvlei is one of the most important estuarine systems in the Western Cape and one of the largest natural wetlands along the west coast of South Africa.

It is also one of the few coastal fresh water lakes in the country. The system comprises a coastal lake and reed swamp connected to the sea by a small estuary. 

Situated amid dramatic topography, the lake is approximately 13.5 km long and 1.4 km wide and occurs in the zone of transition between the karoo and fynbos vegetation types. This results in the region displaying high species diversity typical of an ecotone area.

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