Our Projects

KOGELBERG biosphere

Enhancing the conservation of biodiversity

 

Growing the economy

 Nature education

– Securing water

Nature-based solutions

Raising awareness

 

The Kogelberg region was declared a biosphere because of its environmental value.

The Kogelberg is considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom – home to more than 1 880 plant species. Of these, 77 are found just here, and nowhere else. And many are Critically Endangered and stand on the brink of extinction.

The birdlife is also spectacular, and the fynbos endemic species such as the Cape Rockjumper and Cape Sugarbird occur here. Along the coast, you’ll find the Black Oystercatcher – a success story after conservation efforts brought about a steady rise in population numbers.

Mammals such as the delicate Cape Grysbok and the Klipspringer live and roam freely in our fynbos landscapes. We’re home to the Cape Leopard – which hides in our mountains, mostly away from human eyes (although they are sometimes seen in passing). And a favourite among visitors and residents alike are the wild horses at Rooisand.

Don’t forget the critters – including the Critically Endangered Micro Frog and the tiny pollinators in our fynbos, as well as the glorious reptiles who choose to hide away from human activity, and are sometimes stumbled across by accident.

The seascapes here are also significant: more than 3 500 marine species occur only here. Our area is a whale-watching centre – especially for the Southern Right whales. And we are home to abalone (or perlemoen). These fascinating sea snails are being heavily poached – even though it is illegal to gather abalone from the ocean. And this is threatening their very survival as a species.

That’s why as partners in the Kogelberg Biosphere, we must act to protect our natural world.

Here’s what we do:

Conservancy support

The Kogelberg Biosphere is working with our town and farming communities to help maintain conservancies. We provide support to the following to ensure they’re properly constituted:

The Rooiels community has taken their conservation work a step further: they’re implementing the Rooiels corridor and reserve initiative. This initiative is protecting the lowland fynbos that occurs here – but that is increasingly threatened by development and invasive alien plants. The Rooiels Nature Reserve is a well-preserved – although neglected – example of lowland fynbos. Now the community here is working to maintain and restore the ecosystems and protect its wildlife.

The Biosphere also works with key partners such as the Kogelberg Botanical Society, the Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers (CREW) and other conservation societies. 

Kogelberg Marine Working Group and Estuary Forum

The Biosphere is a member of the Kogelberg Marine Working and Botriver Estuary Forum. This working group focuses on managing the coastal area from Kleinmond to Steenbrasriver. They focus on finding job creation opportunities for the local communities, collecting ecological marine data and sharing information. The Botriver Estuary Forum focuses on the management of the Botriver Estuary System.

Waste management

The Kogelberg Biosphere works with the Overstrand Municipality to implement its sustainable waste management system. The Overstrand Municipality has recently implemented a new waste management plan and has also now opened a new waste recycling depot.

DEALING WITH SNARES

The Kogelberg Biosphere has also teamed up with a number of partners, including the Cape Leopard Trust and CapeNature to implement the Snare Free Project. This project seeks to deal with the causes and impacts of wildlife snaring. This cruel form of capturing animals, often for bush meat, takes place in many areas across the Western Cape, including in the Biosphere. Through this project, a hotline has been set up to deal with snaring emergencies. Find out more here. 

Managing fire

During fire season, our region is particularly vulnerable to devastating wildfires. The dry summer, accompanied by hot, windy days, often make it impossible to stop a fire once it’s burning. In the past, the Kogelberg Biosphere has suffered huge losses to uncontrolled fires. That’s why we work with our partners, such as the Greater Overberg Fire Protection Association, to prepare ourselves for the fire season during the winter months. And we support coordination efforts during wildfires.

Researching our wildlife

We want to know more about the animals and plants that occur in the Kogelberg Biosphere. So we work with partners who are undertaking research. For example, we work with the Cape Leopard Trust. This Trust is now undertaking a monitoring project for leopards in our biosphere, to better understand where these leopards live, how they move, and how we can better protect them.

Living with baboons

If you live in many of the towns that are adjacent to natural areas in the Western Cape, you may come across baboons. Baboons naturally belong in our landscapes, but they do sometimes enjoy human food, and therefore can come into towns in search of food. That’s why we provide the platforms for three Baboon Liaison Committees: in Pringle Bay, Betty’s Bay and Kleinmond. They work together to find a sustainable solution fit for a transition zone in a biosphere to manage baboons and other wildlife, and work to change people’s attitudes towards human-wildlife conflict.

Land invasions

Land invasions in South Africa stem from complex situations, and a complex history. And there is no simple solution. In the Kogelberg Biosphere, land invasions are taking place in a section of state forestry land. In this case, there is also no easy answer. From the perspective of the biosphere, partners must come together to address this situation in a way that benefits people and nature. These invasions must not threaten areas that are vital to the success of the Valley’s economy, nor the protection of our biodiversity.

As such, the Kogelberg Biosphere is aiming to work closely with the relevant government departments, partners, community members and all role players to develop a sustainable strategy to address this.

Wildlife rescue

The Biosphere is home to an array of indigenous animals that often suffer due to habit loss, wildfires, snaring and poisoning. The Kogelberg Biosphere has trained a group of volunteers as Wildlife First Responders who can respond to incidents and work together with veterinarians in the area. We are growing this team and are providing them with the necessary equipment and support. We have also launched a wildlife rehabilitation centre – the first of its kind in the Western Cape. The centre is situated just outside of the town of Betty’s Bay. Here we can give the most vulnerable of animals a chance to recover, before releasing them back into the wild. The centre is always in need of volunteer support. You can get involved by donating goods, equipment and your time.  

Find out more about our wildlife rescue work and our rehabilitation centre here. 

Our Wild Wednesday talks

Once or twice a month, you’re invited to get to know the animals and plants of the Kogelberg Biosphere a little better, by joining our Wild Wednesday talks. From penguins to porpoises, and fynbos to forests, our experts and guest presenters will reveal what makes our area so special.

The Wild Wednesday talks are held at the Kogelberg Biosphere Wildlife Rehabilitation and Training Centre, outside Betty’s Bay. All income from these events will go towards establishing our world-class Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

To find out more about our next talk, keep an eye on our Facebook page. Or email admin@kogelbergbiosphere.org.za for more. 

Donate

We are a not-for-profit company and a public benefit organisation. All funds raised therefore go to meeting our motto: Nature for Life.

We can provide 18A tax exemption certificates to donors.
For more information, contact admin@kogelbergbiosphere.org.za

 LATEST NEWS

Dos & Don’ts: Building in the Biosphere

Dos & Don’ts: Building in the Biosphere

It’s important to know that there are specific building plan approval processes for homeowners. On a municipal and national level, there are different building regulations that apply to specific properties, depending on how the erf is classified.

Wetlands and strategic water sources

Wetlands and strategic water sources

Our Kogelberg Biosphere water systems are a delicate web of wetlands, rivers, dams and aquifers. These components are constantly in flux, and interact with one another in complicated ways. If the 2018 drought taught us anything, it’s that fresh and clean water

Biosphere Living

Become a Kogelberg Biosphere member – and enjoy benefits specially designed to assist you and/or your business.

MORE

You can take the next step, to become even more involved in the Kogelberg Biosphere.

And remember to include us in your social media posts, by using the hashtag: #BiosphereLiving.