Stewardship Site Assessment - Prashanti Farm

The interns teamed up with CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wild Flowers) and the City of Cape Town team with the aim of creating a flora species list and identifying rare or endangered species found on the farm as well as to assess potential threats and impacts on the remaining natural vegetation.

The walk began at about 10am and lasted until 1pm during which time over 160 species were recorded, 20 of which were of conservation concern. Species of conservation concern refers to the level of threat faced by that particular species and is classified by the IUCN as either being:

Critically Endangered (CR): Implies that fewer than 250 individuals remain in the wild and that without intervention, the species will go extinct in less than 10 years. None were observed at Prashanti Hills, but might be discovered in future surveys.

Endangered (EN): Implies a total population decline of more than 70 % in the last 10 years and have more than a 20 % chance of going extinct in the next 20 years. Nine such species were recorded at Prashanti Hills.

Vulnerable (VU): Implies a total population decline of more than 50 % in the last 10 years and have more than a 10 % change of going extinct in the next 100 years. Nine such species were recorded at Prashanti Hills.

Near Threatened (NT): Implies the species does not currently qualify as Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable now, but is likely to qualify for a threatened category in the near future. Two such species were recorded at Prashanti Hills.

The high species diversity at Prashanti Hills can be attributed to the range in topography and geology within the farm which results in various soil types each supporting different species. The lower slope comprises of Atlantis Sand Fynbos, a Critically Endangered vegetation type and the upper slope consists of Swartland Granite Renosterveld vegetation, also Critically Endangered.

Overall Prashanti Hills Farm contains a high number of species, has high numbers of threatened species and have had few environmental impacts as a result of over grazing or alien infestations and would make an excellent candidate for the Conservation Stewardship Programme.