Wait, a Bio-diversity day is in existence? Who knew?
This past Monday marked the day the rest of the world celebrated bio-diversity while a country like South Africa knew nothing about it, I mean unless you’re constantly googling international days, then maybe yeah.
Lately there seems to be an international celebratory day for almost everything, some bizarre, some profound- like the bio-diversity day perhaps? One would expect that a country such as South Africa would at least pay some attention to this day cause hellllo- bio-diversity popping right over here! And yet most South Africans have probably never heard of the existence of an entire day we could dedicate to celebrating it.
We live in THE most bio-diverse country on the continent! Ah, yet no headlines about International Bio-diversity day??
Biodiversity — is the term for the variety of life on Earth from all sources including terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems, and the natural ecological complexes and patterns which they are part of. The biodiversity we see today is the formation of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes . It forms the web of life of which we are an integral part and upon which we so fully depend. Biodiversity forms the foundation of the vast array of ecosystem services that critically contribute to human well-being. Decisions humans make that influence biodiversity affect the well-being of themselves and others.
The Bio-diversity day is an initiative the United Nations(UN) took on to increase awareness of biodiversity issues. It’s a pretty organized thing and actually had a 2017 theme- ‘Bio-diversity and Sustainable Tourism.’ Sustainable tourism is important for diversity in species, ecosystems and landscapes as these aspect of a region attracts tourism and at the same time promotes economic growth. The initiative also believes that a well-managed tourist sector will aid in reducing threats, maintaining, and even increasing bio-diversity.
International Biodiversity Day provides South Africans the opportunity to reflect on the importance of the unique plant and animal
species found in our country.
Here is a list of some Cape Towns biodiversity facts
- 70% of the Cape Floral Kingdom’s 9 600 plant species are found nowhere else on earth
- The Cape Town Lowlands area supports more than 1 466 plant species in 1 874 km² of which 76 are endemic and 203 are considered threatened.
- The Cape Peninsula Mountain Chain supports 2 285 plant species in 471 km², of which 158 are endemic.
- 61 bird species live in Cape Town – ten are endangered, 22 are Red Data listed and at least three species have become extinct in recent years.
- There are numerous invertebrate species in Cape Town, approximately 111 of them are endemic in the Cape Peninsula Mountain Chain alone.
- There are 27 amphibian species in Cape Town of which ten are listed as Red Data species.
- 57 reptile species, of which five are Red Date species and three are locally extinct, are found in Cape Town.
- 24 fish species are dependent on Cape Town’s estuaries.
- There are 18 different national terrestrial vegetation types found in Cape Town. 14 of these are threatened owing to habitat transformation.
- Cape Town contains remnants of the nationally most-threatened vegetation types: Lourensford Alluvium Fynbos, Swartland Shale Renosterveld and Swartland Silcrete Renosterveld.
- Many globally important horticultural plants originate in Cape Town and the Cape Floral Kingdom in general. These include geraniums, gladioli, freesias, ixias, pincushions and gazanias.The Western Cape is also a world centre of bulb diversity.
Red Data: a national list, based on internationally recognised criteria, of species threatened with extinction.