Mountain Zebra-Camdeboo Corridor Project aims to enhance conservation status
A new initiative to create a corridor between Camdeboo and Mountain Zebra National Parks aims to impact the conservation status of South Africa’s grassland biome.
A partnership between the Wilderness Foundation and South African National Parks (SANParks) will enlarge the area under formal conservation protection by entering into voluntary contractual agreements with private landowners.
These agreements will provide benefits to landowners in terms of protecting the environment, as well as contribute towards the conservation of threatened wildlife species such as Cape mountain zebra, black wildebeest, cheetah and black rhino. Protection will also contribute to safeguarding the recently-identified Sneeuberg Centre of Endemism, part of the Amathole-Sneeuberg Montane Belt.
Through either contractual national park or protected environment agreements, the project aims to work with, rather than displace, current conservation-compatible land-use practices such as eco-tourism and sustainable resource use. Less formal conservation options will also be available to landowners.
It is hoped that the project will stimulate conservation-friendly economic development in the region while protecting it from inappropriate development. It is envisaged that the outcome of the project will be a mosaic of properties, including both SANParks-managed and privately-owned land. A number of private game reserves are located within the zone.
The first phase of the corridor project will run from 2012 until February 2014. Camdeboo National park surrounds the town of Graaff-Reinet, covering 19 405 hectares while the 28 412-hectare Mountain Zebra National Park is located near Cradock.