South Africa is famous for its wildlife, which is a major attraction for local and international tourism. Even our banknotes feature the “Big Five”: rhinoceros, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo.
It might surprise some to learn that elephants were common on the South Coast and Eastern Cape until hunters killed them all about 300 years ago. However, despite these losses, there are still many species of wildlife that continue to add beauty and interest to our landscapes and cultures and continue to provide food for many people.
The local nature reserve is home to large animals such as leopards, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest and eland, as well as striped and water mongooses, bushbucks, reedbucks, blue and gray duikers, baboons, servals and genets. , impalas and samango monkeys. , Hilux (Dassie), Oribi. Many species of buck can be found in wooded areas (usually urban canyons and small patches of woodland), and many suburbs still have vervet monkeys.
The South Coast is home to more than 250 species of birds, and avitourism harnesses the power of bird life, a growing industry, to attract large numbers of visitors. Birds of prey include fish eagles, Cape vultures, yellow-billed kites, crested eagles, owls, and African woolly storks, as well as numerous smaller birds such as kingfishers, woodpeckers, robins, rowries, orioles, bulbuls, and sunbirds. .
Fishing is important to many locals and visitors from all over the world, and is blessed with a wide variety of fish and marine mammals, including whales, dolphins, otters, turtles, iguanas, and sharks.
Like humans, wildlife needs a clean and healthy environment to survive and thrive. We can help wildlife by keeping our rivers and oceans clean and by caring for the biodiversity of our land. This includes leaving primary forest intact and planting native plants in human settlements. If alien invasive plants (AIPs) are found, remove them. And ensure people have food security.
Various local organizations such as Conservation Society, WESSA, Ezemvelo, SANBI, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Anti-Snare Group work to help wildlife. Contact details for these organizations can be found online and public assistance is welcome.
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