Encyclopedia of Earth

Cape Floral Protected Areas, South Africa

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Cape Floral Region Protected Areas © Western Cape Nature Conservation Board, via UNESCO


Cape Floral Protected Areas (32°36’S to 34° 30’S and 18° 18’E to 25°50’E) is a World Heritage Site located in South Africa.

Geographical Location

The Cape Floral Region is located in southwest and southern South Africa, between the coast and the Cedarberg and Swartberg Mountain ranges, mostly in Western Cape Province. It comprises a cluster of eight sites over an area about 850 kilometers (km) long by an average of 110 km wide located between approximately 32°36’S to 34° 30’S and 18° 18’E to 25°50’E. The northern margin reaches into the Northern Cape, the inland margin on the north-facing mountain slopes is formed by the Succulent Karoo and the Nama-Karoo and the eastern margin is in the thicket vegetation of Eastern Cape Province.

In relation to Cape Town, Cape Peninsula National Park extends from the city 50 km south; Cederberg Wilderness Area, from 140 to 220 km north, Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area, 70-150 km north-northeast, the Boland Mountain Complex between 40 and 80 km east, De Hoop Nature Reserve,120 to 220 km east-southeast, Boosmansbos Wilderness Area,180 to 260 km east and the Swartberg Complex, 260 to 450 km east-northeast. Baviaanskloof Protected Area lies 75 km west-northwest of Port Elizabeth.

Dates and History of Establishment

caption Some of the unique flora at the Cape Peninsula, South Africa (By Thomas Bjørkan (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)

Each reserve that comprises the Cape Foral Region has had a long history of increasing protection of differing types before final gazettement. Key details are highlighted below.

  • 1973: The Cederberg Wilderness Area established under Forest Act #122;
  • 1975: De Hoop vlei designated a Ramsar site, expanded in 1986;
  • 1978: Boosmansbos Wilderness Area established under Forest Act #122;
  • 1978-80 The Swartberg complex of three reserves established. These are Groot Swartberg and Swartberg East State Forest/Nature Reserves and Gamkapoort Nature Reserve;
  • 1984: The Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area established under Forest Act #122;
  • 1987: Baviaanskloof proclaimed a Wilderness Area;
  • 1984-92 The five independently established components of the Boland Complex separately proclaimed. These are the Kogelberg and Limietberg State Forests, the Hottentots Holland, Jonkershoek and Assegaaibosch Nature Reserves;
  • 1990: De Hoop Nature Reserve and Marine Reserve proclaimed under Nature Conservation Ordinance #19; the Marine Reserve proclaimed under the Sea Fisheries Act #12/1988;
  • 1998: Kogelberg in the Boland Complex designated a Biosphere Reserve;
  • 1998: Cape Peninsula National Park established by Government Notice #18916 under the National Parks Act # 57 of 1976 and the Cape Nature Conservation Ordinance #19 of 1974;


The total area of the eight sites is 5,530 square kilometers (km2) (553,000 hectares (ha)), over 6% of the whole Cape Floral Region of 90,000 km2. Surrounding protected lands total over 13,150 km2. The overall total of protected land is 18,680 km2. The areas and coordinates of each site are :

Site Name


Geographic Co-ordinates

Cape Peninsula National Park

17,000 km2

33°57’25”S to 34°21’40”S x 18°28’30”E to18°26’10”E

Cederberg Wilderness Area

64,000 km2

32°36´20”S / 19°08´17”E to 32°07´10”S / 19°02´05”E

Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area

26,000 km2

33°10´52"S / 19°05´50"E to 32°59´05”S / 19°09´15”E

Boland Mountain Complex

113,000 km2

34°20´25"S / 18°46´10"E to 33°25´00”S / 19°05´00”E

De Hoop Nature Reserve

32,000 km2

34°30´12"S / 20°27´07"E to 34°22´40"S / 20°36´13"E

Boosmansbos Wilderness Area

15,000 km2

33°58´56”S / 20°48´00”E to 33°52´46”S / 20°56´12”E

Swartberg Complex

112,000 km2

33°24´19”S / 20°35´30”E to 33°22´40”S / 23°11´50”E

Baviaanskloof Protected Area

174,000 km2

33°38´45”S / 23°25´00”E to 33°25´20”S / 24°50´55”E

Land Tenure

State. All the areas are administered by the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board under the national Ministry of the Environment, Cultural Affairs and Sport, except for the Cape Peninsula National Park which is 60% owned by local authorities and administered by South African National Parks, and Baviaanskloof administered by the Game Reserve & Conservation Division of the Eastern Cape Tourism Board. These all act within the coordinating framework of the Cape Action for People and the Environment (CAPE) Project.


Sea level to 2,077 meters (m) (Groot Winterhoek Peak).

Physical Features

The Cape Floral Region lies between the Ocean and the east- and north-facing slopes of the L-shaped Cape Folded Mountain chain. The Cederberg and Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Areas, Cape Peninsula National Park as an outlier, and the north half of the Boland Mountain Complex are in mountain ranges running north-south parallel to the Atlantic Ocean. The east half of Boland, Boosmansbos Wilderness Area, the Swartberg Complex and Baviaanskloof Protected Area are on or between lower mountain ranges running west-east parallel to the Indian Ocean. DeHoop Nature Reserve is in the Agulhas Plain on the coast. The eight sites together form a representative sample of the eight phytogeographic centers of the Region within 6% of its area, but with surrounding protected lands, cover nearly 21 % of the Region.

The highest ranges of the Cape Fold Belt, reaching over 2,000 m high, are formed of the rugged highly sculptured Table Mountain and Witteberg Groups of barren quartzitic sandstone intermixed with Bokkeveld Group shales and overlying the sometimes exposed eroded Cape Granite. These form a scenic backdrop to the entire region, with beautiful mountain passes, and along the Oliphants River, rapids, cascades and pools. Soils are skeletal at high elevations. The predominant soils, derived from the sandstone, are shallow, sandy, nutrient-poor and acidic, characteristic of fynbos (fine-leaved bush) areas. Valley soils are richer clays derived from the intermixed shales. The same is found in a more complex jumble in Boland Mountain and less complex in the Boosmansbos and Swartberg mountains and those surrounding the Baviaanskoof valley. Renosterveld flatland soils are slightly richer than the predominant fynbos type. Recent coastal sands are highly alkaline. This range of differing altitudes, bedrock types and soils produces marked local differences in plant species. The climatic, topographic and pedological diversity of the Cape Peninsula make it the most diverse of all these areas.


The Region has a semi-Mediterranean climate of cool wet winters and hot dry summers in the west with summers tending to be rainier in the east. Rainfall varies markedly with topography. It is between 300-500 millimeters (mm) in the lowlands and 1,000-3,300 mm in the mountains where clouds and fog can persist and snow falls in winter. Temperatures range from below freezing to above 40°C in the northern Cederberg and 45°C in the Swartberg. Coastal areas near the oceans are more temperate. Winters are influenced by depressions from the prevailing circumpolar westerlies. Coastal winds can be strong, and in winter hot dusty bergwinds occasionally blow from the interior, aggravating the natural fires which occur at 10 to 20 year intervals. This produces a mosaic of climatic and microclimatic zones which contribute to the complexity and diversity of the flora.


The Cape Floral Region has been called the world’s hottest hot-spot for plant diversity and endemism and has recently been designated one of the IUCN World Centres of Plant Diversity. Although the smallest of the world’s six principal floristic regions and in a temperate zone, it has by far the highest species density and species rarity of any Mediterranean-type climatic region. In less than 0.38% of the area of Africa it has nearly 20% of its flora and five of the continent’s twelve endemic families. In less than 4% of the area of southern Africa it has nearly 44% of the subcontinental flora of 20,367 species. Nearly 69% of its vascular plant species do not occur naturally anywhere else in the world, but many are threatened. Within its 90,000 square kilometers (km2) area there are 8,996 plant species and 988 genera, roughly half of all genera in South Africa. These include five endemic and two sub-endemic families and 1435 (70%) of all southern African threatened species. There is also a very high species-to-genus ratio of 9:1. Within the Region, the southwest has the most diverse flora, and of these species the Cape Peninsula has almost half, with 25% of the flora of the whole Region. This pattern of species richness is exceptional for this climatic type, not only in a single habitat but over changes of taxa with changes in habitat (beta diversity) and in changes of taxa in similar habitats over changes in geographic area (gamma diversity).

There are some 6,191 endemic species in the Region. The Cape Peninsula has 2285 species of plants, 90 being endemic to the peninsula, the Cederberg has 1778, including the local cedar Widdringtonia cedarbergensis. Boland Mountain Complex has 1,600 plant species, 150 being endemic, and none of the sites has less than 1100 species. The richness is due to the wide variety of macrohabitats and microhabitat mosaics resulting from the range of elevations, soils and climatic conditions, including the co-existence of winter-rainfall species with summer-rainfall species from further east. The flora is also characterized by concentrations of relict endemics and massive still-active speciation due to its isolation in an area of very long established climatic stability which has generated the enormous diversity. The flora of each nominated area is sufficiently distinct to justify representation of the region by several sites, each of which is large enough to preserve the genetic viability of its types of diversity and to accommodate large-scale natural processes such as fire and drought. Eight Phytogeographic Centres of endemism have been distinguished in the Cape Floral Region; also 88 of 102 Broad Habitat Units defined for the country, 15 of which are protected within the nominated sites:


Boland Mountain Complex / Cape Peninsula National Park

Northwestern Areas

Cederberg Wilderness / Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Areas

Agulhas Plain

De Hoop Nature Reserve


Boosmansbos Wilderness Area

Karoo Mountain

Swartberg Complex

Little Karoo

Swartberg Complex






The distinctive flora of the Cape Floral Region, comprising 80% of its floristic richness, is a sclerophyllous shrubland known as fynbos (fine bush),a fine-leaved vegetation adapted to both the Mediterranean type of climate and to periodic fires and defined by location or dominant species such as coastal, mountain or grassy or proteoid fynbos. Its four main components are heaths, the Proteaceae, reedlike Restionaceae and geophytes (bulb-plants) including many Iridaceae. It grows on the predominant coarsely sandy, acidic nutrient-poor soils, and on alkaline marine sands and slightly richer alluvial soils of the renosterveld, poor in Protoaceae but rich in Asteraceae. There are pockets of evergreen forest in fire-protected gorges and on deeper soils; in the east are valley thicket and succulent thicket, which are less fire-dependent, and in the drier north, low succulent Karoo shrubland which has an unparalleled diversity of species. The flora includes spectacular proteas, irises, gladioli, perlargoniums, a wide array of flowering succulents, mainly Aizoaceae, many Orchidaceae and useful species of the Fabaceae. The native flora has relatively few trees but patches of indigenous forest remain in inaccessible mountain valleys where they are protected from fire although the trees grow too slowly for cultivation.

Four other characteristics of global scientific interest are the responses of the plants of the region to 1) fire, 2) seed dispersal by ants and termites (myrmecochory), 3) the high level (83%) of plant pollination by insects, mainly beetles and flies and 4) its Gondwanaland floristic relicts which allow the reconstruction of very ancient floral communities. Adaptation to fire include geophytes which sprout from underground and seed storage both underground and in the canopy, some species requiring fire for germination. Ants take the seeds to eat the lipid deposits; about 28% of the Region’s flora including over half of the Proteaceae is dispersed by them. Most of the shrubs so dispersed are both endemic and threatened species but the latter lack a way of regenerating after fire. Pollination and nutrient-cycling by termites, and termite-mound communities, mainly in the renosterveld flatlands, are notable; and the region has very high levels of bird- and mammal-pollinated plants.


The Cape Faunal Centre is a distinct zoogeographic zone that coincides roughly with the Floral Region as far as the eastern end of Western Cape Province. In general the fauna is less remarkable than the flora, except for a distinctive relict invertebrate fauna of an exceptionally high level of endemism which persists in upper forest streams, riverine forests and caves, especially in the Cape Peninsula National Park and the Cederberg and Groot Winterhoek mountains. This has changed little since the era of Gondwanaland and is the oldest and least disturbed fauna on the continent. It is notable that the relict palaeogenic species are limited to the same areas as hot-spots for rare plants. Kogelberg Nature Reserve in Boland Mountain has 150 endemic species and is a biosphere reserve. De Hoop reserve along the coast which includes a Ramsar-designated coastal vlei (seasonal lake) has 260 bird species. The large Baviaanskloof reserve is a good example of the Region’s faunal diversity, with 310 bird species, 58 mammals, 56 reptiles, 17 amphibians, 15 fish and 55 butterflies; several species being endemic.

Particularly in the foothills and mountains, larger mammals such as Chacma baboon Papio ursinus, honey-badger Mellivora capensis, clawless otter Aonyx capensis, leopard Panthera pardus, aardvark Orycteropus afer, eland Taurotragus oryx, the regional endemic bontebok Damaliscus dorcas dorcas anddiverse mustelids and viverrids occur. There are also Cape horseshoe bat Rhinolophus capensis, spectacled dormouse Graphiuris ocularis, the regionally endemic Cape gerbil Tatera afra and several threatened amphibians. The region is an Endemic Bird Area with, on the coast, jackass penguin Spheniscus demersens, blue crane Anthropoides paradiseus, Cape vulture Gyps coprotheres, black eagle Aquila verreauxii, martial eagle Polemaetus bellicosus, fish eagle Haliaeetus vocifer, black harrier Circus maurus, lanner falcon Falco biarmicus and lesser kestrel Falco naumanni. There are also fynbos endemics such as the orange-breasted sunbird Nectarinia violacea and Protea canary Serinus leucopterus. South African endemic species of amphibians indigenous to the Region and endemic to it are 44 and 24 respectively, of which 5 are threatened. Endemic reptiles indigenous to the Region and endemic to it number 142 and 27, of which 5 also are threatened

The fauna in the Swartberg and Cederberg protected areas reflects their location close to the fynbos-Karoo interface with species such as grysbok Raphicerus melanotis, grey rhebuck Pelea capreolus and klipspringer Oreotragus oreotragus, steenbok Raphicerus campestris and grey duiker Sylvicapra grimmia, as well as karoo species not usually found in mountain fynbos such as springbok Antidorcas marsupialus. Further east, nearer the more sub-tropical faunal region, kudu Tragelaphus strepsiceros, occur in Baviaanskloof. The Cederberg is exceptional in the numbers of endemic fish in the Oliphants river: three critically endangered, three endangered and two vulnerable species. Other fish species indigenous and endemic to the Region number 19 and 16 respectively, of which 14 are threatened.

Cultural Heritage

caption Bakenberg Festival. (Source: UNESCO)

Artifacts and fossils show that the region was occupied by humans at least 250,000 years ago. Stone tools from the Early Stone Age and hundreds of later shell middens have been found. 20,000 years ago it was inhabited by San hunter-gatherers who left striking rock art some 5,000 years old. These were displaced 2,000 years ago by Khoikhoi pastoralists. Both cultures practiced controlled burning of the countryside. In 1488 the Portugese Bartholomew Dias named the Cape of Good Hope and in 1652 the Dutch East India Company established a post. Settlement previously limited by the infertility of the area became feasible after suitable European crops were introduced by the colonists who cleared much of the lowlands for farming. The region is rich in rock art, historic buildings and landscapes.

Local Human Populations

The population of the greater Cape Town area increased from about half a million in the mid 1960s to some 3.5 million in 2003 and is expected to reach 6.2 million by 2020. Except for the Cape Peninsula adjoining the metropolis, most of the nominated sites are nearly empty of people and buffered by lightly populated reserves, the mountains being almost unencroached on. But the high numbers neighboring the Cape Peninsula National Park have necessitated social programs to combat poverty and enlist conservation awareness through volunteer group work.


Visitors and Visitor Facilities

The Cape is a popular tourist destination, both nationally and internationally, especially the Cape Peninsula which received in 2001-2 over a million fee-paying visitors and a million others. Flower, whale and penguin viewing are among the attractions beyond the wide range of recreational activities usual in mountain and remote country. Other reserve visitation varies between 58,500 in the Boland Mountain reserves to 18,000 a year in Cederberg and De Hoop and 1,130 in Boosmansbos. Infrastructure and reserve facilities are excellent and effective methods are used to control visitor numbers when necessary. The communications departments of the reserves have a broad range of outreach and educational programs, information pamphlets, maps, brochures, and advertising campaigns both in the reserves and in travel magazines. Promotion uses other media outlets as well as meetings and discussions between managers and reserve neighbors in both provinces.

Scientific Research and Facilities

This is one of the most intensely researched floral regions in the world. The nomination’s bibliography lists 290 publications on the flora, fauna and culture of southwest Africa. Three local universities and the National Botanical Institute sponsor constant research. The Western Cape Nature Conservation Board (WCNCB) uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) recording in the State of Biodiversity database to capture, store, retrieve and process biological data on species distribution and populations, alien plant eradication, fire mapping, water quality and other ecological processes, all centrally stored at the Scientific Services Headquarters at Jonkershoek. Predictive models forecasting the potential effects of climate change on each area have been prepared. The Eastern Cape is also developing an information system. The eight areas contribute to national monitoring exercises such as the Protea Atlas Project, the South African Bird-ringing Project, the Birds in Reserves Project, Frog Atlas Project, the Nest Record Card Scheme, the Information System for Endangered Plants and the Provincial Fire Records database maintained by the WCNCB

The 200 hectare Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden and Institute near Cape Town have very good visitor and research facilities and are an integral and biodiverse part of the Cape Peninsula National Park, focusing on research and public education about the fynbos. Uniquely, the Botanic Garden is therefore included within the natural World Heritage Site.

Conservation Value

The Cape Floral Region is one of the world’s 18 hot-spots for biodiversity, a World Centre of Plant Diversity, an Endemic Bird Area and a Global 200 EcoRegion. It surpasses all other Mediterranean-climate regions in species denseness and diversity. The nominated areas form an archipelago of sites that are of outstanding value for the biological and ecological processes of the distinctive and scenic Fynbos biome. It owes its diversity to an unusual range of elevations, soils, climatic conditions and the survival in isolation of relict species. Within the 90,000 square kilometers (km2) area there are 9,000 plant species and 1,435 threatened plant species. The Cape Faunal Centre coincides roughly with the Region and contains a distinctive relictual fauna and 112 species of animals listed in South Africa’s Red Data Book. The natural beauty of the coastal areas, including the iconic Table Mountain, is high.

Conservation Management

Most of the nominated sites are in remote country, buffered by adjacent reserves and exist within a well developed legal framework. The nominated areas are part of the region-wide conservation framework, the Cape Action for People & the Environment (CAPE) Project, established with help from the GEF in 2000. This works with national, provincial and local authorities and private landowners to promote the protection of biodiversity by integrating social, financial and conservation initiatives. Acts and legal instruments affecting the area include the World Heritage Convention Act, National Environmental Management Act, Environment Conservation Act, National Water Act, Conservation of Agricultural Resources Act, Mountain Catchment Areas Act, National Heritage Resources Act, National Forests Act, National Veld and Forest Fire Act, the Sea-shore Act, the Marine Living Resources Act, Wetlands Conservation Bill, the Biodiversity White Paper and the National Coastal Management Bill. Since 1995 the well funded Working for Water Programme has dealt with alien plant infestation and has been a major source of support for Park management.

The staff of the various reserves are increasingly responsible for the participation of local communities, stakeholders and landowners in dealing with local problems and in improving participation in co-operative projects to promote more environmentally responsible farming and conservation such as leopard management in the Cederberg. Fire management policies are also now flexible enough to vary with species, frequency and intensity and no longer subject to standard regimes. The Cape Peninsula National Park has a Management Policy and Strategic Management Plan. In the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board areas management plans are standardized and are completed or being completed. Baviaanskloof Management Plan is already in operation. Monitoring regimes using indicator species now regularly examine the condition of rare plants, infestation by alien species, wildfires, water quality, erosion, land use, tourist visitation and facilities as part of the national monitoring programs administered by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and university research units.

Management Constraints

Some 26% of the indigenous vegetation has been transformed mostly by farming and forestry in lowland and coastal areas, also by alien plant invasions and, especially near Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, by urbanization. Among the main problems affecting the reserves are wildfires and aggressive alien plants; 1) Introduced resinous fast-burning trees such as pines, acacias and eucalyptus notably increase fire intensities, erosion and soil loss, and fire control can be complicated by the splintered nature of land ownership, especially in Cape Peninsula National Park where urban encroachment and the risk of fire are constant. In 2000 a fire there burnt some 40% of the Park. 2) Coastal dunes and mountain catchments have been worst affected by competition from alien plants. And the planting of freely hybridizing non-native proteas threaten the genetic purity of native species. The Working for Water Programme has had success in dealing with these threats and the media and public workshops have been successfully used to address many of the problems.

There is also the increasing pressure from nature-based tourism, and in a few places, from marginal agriculture and urban development. De Hoop is also neighbored by a military test range. Other challenges include illegal or excessive water-abstraction, game-poaching, harvesting of wildflowers or firewood and marine pollution on the coasts of the De Hoop and Boland Mountain protected areas. Invasive fauna are less threatening, but alien bass and trout have nearly extinguished several local fish, and the Argentine ant could displace the native seed-dispersing species. Floods occasionally threaten the Baviaanskloof reserve and global warming may begin to affect the Western Cape adversely.


Each reserve has at least one Resident Manager and highly qualified staff who are employed in planning and management, research and development, reinforced by in-house training and continued higher study. Total staff numbers differ with situation: Cape Peninsula National Park employs 207, two of the Boland Mountain reserves, 75, Baviaanskloof, 75.De Hoop, 35, Swartberg, 30, Boosmansbos 12. The staffs of the various reserves are responsible for environmental management, environmental awareness and information, visitor facilities, marketing and communication, general administration. Increasingly important are participation with neighboring farmers, communities and stakeholders in dealing with problems and opportunities for increasing sustainable practices. Ground staff are also often supplemented by large subcontracted groups in the Working for Water Program clearing alien species.


The Western Cape Nature Conservation Board administers 70 reserves and annually receives about R50 million (US$6,100,000) directly from government and R50 million through the Working for Water Programme. In 2002-3 its Nature Reserves and related services received R 56,517,000 (US$7,700,000). The 2000/3 budget for Cape Peninsula National Park was R40 million (US$ 5,800,000) from grants, entry fees and concessions. In 2001 Baviaanskloof received one million dollars. A decline in government funding is slowly being balanced by an increase in fees from nature-tourism. Specific projects have been funded by the GEF, conservation non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the Norwegian government and the Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund.

IUCN Management Category

  • Baviaanskloof Protected Area (comprising Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve IV, Baviaanskloof State Forest IV, and Baviaanskloof Conservation Area, Unset)
  • Boland Mountain Complex (comprising Kogelberg and Limietberg State Forests (II), Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve II, Jonkershoek (State Forest IV and Assegaaibosch Nature Reserves)
  • Swartberg Complex (comprising Groot Swartberg and Swartberg East State Forest IV, Gamkapoort Nature Reserve II).
  • De Hoop Vei Wetland of International Importance (Ramsar site), designated in 1975)
  • Kogelberg (part of Boland Complex) UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB) Reserve designated in 1978.
  • Natural World Heritage serial site Natural criteria ii & iv.

IUCN Management Category

Boosmansbos Wilderness Area


Cape Peninsula National Park


(National Park)

Cederberg Wilderness Area


(Wilderness Area)

De Hoop Nature Reserve


(National Park)

Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area


(Wilderness Area)

Further Reading

  • Anon. (1998). Cape Town. The Cape Peninsula National Park and Winelands. Jacana.
  • Apps, P. (ed.) (2000). Smithers’ Mammals of Southern Africa: a Field Guide. Struik, Cape Town.
  • Arnold, T. & de Wet, B. (eds.) (1993). Plants of Southern Africa. Names and Distribution. Memoirs of the Botanical Survey of South Africa 62. National Botanical Institute. Pretoria. ISBN: 187490703X.
  • Cape Peninsula National Park Website.
  • Cowling, R. 1990. Diversity components in a species-rich area of the Cape Floristic Region. Journal of Vegetation Science No. 83. pp 699-710.
  • Cowling, R. (ed.) (1992).The Ecology of Fynbos – Nutrients, Fire and Diversity. Oxford Univ. Press,Cape Town.
  • Cowling, R. & Holmes, P. (1992a). Flora and vegetation, in Cowling, R.(ed.).The Ecology of Fynbos. Oxford University Press, Cape Town.
  • Cowling, R. & Holmes, P. (1992b). Endemism and speciation in a lowland flora from the Cape Floristic Region in Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society No. 47, pp 367-383.
  • Cowling, R. M. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (1994). Patterns of plant diversity and endemism in southern Africa: An overview, Strelitzia No. 1. pp.31-52.
  • Cowling, et al. (1996). The Cape Peninsula South Africa: physiographical, biological and historical background to an extraordinary hotspot of biodiversity, Biodiversity and Conservation No. 5. pp 527-550.
  • Cowling, R. & Richardson, D. (1998). Fynbos – South Africa’s Unique Floral Kingdom. Fernwood Press, Vlaeberg, Western Cape.
  • Dallman, P. (1998). Plant Life in the World’s Mediterranean Climates. Oxford University Press.
  • Davis, S. & Heywood, V. (1994). Centres of Plant Diversity: A Guide and Strategy for their Conservation. Oxford University Press.
  • Fishpool, L. & Evans, M. (eds) (2001). Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands. Pisces Publications / Birdlife International, Newbury & Cambridge, U.K. BLI Conservation Series No.11.ISBN: 187435720X.
  • Gelderblom C. (2003). Turning strategy into action: implementing a conservation action plan in the Cape Floristic Region. Biological Conservation p.112.
  • Goldblatt, P. & Manning, J. (1999). Cape Flora – A Conspectus of the Cape Flora of South Africa. ISBN: 0620262362.
  • Government of the Republic of South Africa (2003). Nomination of The Cape Floral Region of South Africa for Inclusion on the World Heritage List.. [Contains a bibliography of 290 references, covering the whole Cape Floral Region.]
  • Groombridge, B. (1992). Global Biodiversity – Status of the Earth's Living Resources. Chapman and Hall. ISBN: 0412472406.
  • McDonald, I. & Cowling, R. (1996). Biodiversity and conservation on Table Mountain and the Cape Peninsula. Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation 5.
  • Mittermeier R. et. al. (1999). Hotspots – Earth’s BIologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Regions. Conservation International, 431pp.
  • Myers, N.(1990).The Biodiversity challenge: Expanded hot-spot analysis.The Environmentalist. No.10: 243-55.
  • Paterson-Jones, C. (ed.) (1997). The Cape Floral Kingdom.ISBN: 1853684813.
  • Richardson, et. al. (1996). Current and future threats to plant diversity on the Cape peninsula, South Africa in: Biodiversity and Conservation. No. 5. pp 607-648.
  • South African National Parks / Western Cape Nature Conservation (1999). Nomination Proposal for the Cape Floristic Region, Phase 1; Cape Peninsula Protected Natural Environment to be Listed as a World Heritage Site. Dept. of Environmental Affairs & Tourism, South Africa. [Contains a bibliography of 208 references covering the whole Cape Floristic Region.]
  • Thorsell, J. (2003). World Heritage Nomination – IUCN Technical Evaluation. The Cape Floral Region (South Africa). IUCN.
  • University of California. (2003). Mediterranean Climate Regions. (poster).



Disclaimer: This article is taken wholly from, or contains information that was originally published by, the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). Topic editors and authors for the Encyclopedia of Earth may have edited its content or added new information. The use of information from the United Nations Environment Programme-World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) should not be construed as support for or endorsement by that organization for any new information added by EoE personnel, or for any editing of the original content.




M, U. (2014). Cape Floral Protected Areas, South Africa. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/51cbed297896bb431f690317

1 Comment

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Peter Howard wrote: 01-27-2011 23:06:03

Readers may want to visit the African Natural Heritage website to view a selection of images and map of the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas world heritage site, and follow links to Google Earth and other relevant web resources: http://www.africannaturalheritage.org/Cape-Floral-Region-South-Africa.html