Green Futures Conservation relates to our conservation research programmes.
These include award-winning ecological research projects, biodiversity surveys and management of human-wildlife conflict within a protected environment.
PROTECTED ENVIRONMENT PROJECT
Our focus is to create a statutorily binding Protected Environment within the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy. The preparatory groundwork includes a floral and faunal survey to determine high priority conservation areas of greatest biodiversity, close interaction with conservation partners and consultation with landowners.
This will provide long term conservation solutions within the Walker Bay region, protecting vegetation types threatened by the spread of alien invasive plant species, illegal ploughing for agriculture, over-harvesting of wild flowers and too frequent fires.
We strive to eradicate alien invasive plant species in the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy to protect indigenous diversity, protect our natural water sources and rivers, manage wildfire risk, and to provide employment.
Exotic invasive tree species are cleared from Grootbos Private Nature Reserve and surrounding properties of the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.
The Green Futures Conservation and Research Team began the first entomological survey at Grootbos in 2018 to advance our knowledge of our ecology on Grootbos and the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy.
These insect surveys aim to understand the association of insects with our extraordinary floral diversity, by investigating all groups related to the various vegetation types that occur on Grootbos, from Milkwood forest floors to Overberg Sandstone Fynbos. Our entomology research targets ecological questions, such as influences of topography and fire on insect occurrence and persistence.
WALKER BAY FYNBOS CONSERVANCY
The Grootbos Foundation works closely with property owners and stakeholders throughout the Walker Bay region to preserve the surrounding unique biodiversity. In 1999 the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy was created to actively protect the region’s fynbos.
The Conservancy includes over 20 000 hectares, and works to further the conservation of fauna and flora in the region.
Green Futures Conservation team is responsible for fire management at Grootbos and assists by developing fire management plans throughout the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy. Fire is a natural part of the Fynbos biome and critical for the germination and regeneration of some species.
Closely linked to alien vegetation clearing, fire management ensures that summer wildfires are manageable and do not destroy delicate eco-systems by burning hotter and faster than nature intended.
Through planning, we are also able to reduce the risk to infrastructure in the event of a wildfire, which ensures long-term eco-tourism within the region.
Understanding the wildlife that occurs throughout the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy and surrounding areas, requires the Green Futures Conservation Team to build relationships with landowners of the Walker Bay Fynbos Conservancy and encourage environmentally friendly land-use practices.
Our wildlife monitoring involves the use of camera traps to identify species present in the region, identify conservation corridors and allow for making informed conservation decisions when linking protected areas across the landscape for the natural movement of wildlife, pollinators and seed dispersers. Footage from our camera traps is shared with landowners to help them experience more about the elusive, shy and nocturnal animals that occupy their properties, leading to a greater willingness to protect.
Camera footage is used to build compassion and for educational purposes.
In 2006 a devastating fire destroyed large areas of ancient Milkwood forest found on Grootbos. The Future Trees Project was created with the aim of rehabilitating the afflicted areas, as well as other unique forested sections on the reserve. Our innovative approach is to use the earliest aerial photographs (1937) from the region to develop our planting plan to restore forests to resemble their previous incarnations. The trees used are grown in our own nursery to ensure local genetic sources are maintained.
Indigenous trees, including White Milkwood, White Stinkwood, Pock Ironwood and Wild Olive are propagated in our indigenous nursery. Since 2008 we have planted 7557 indigenous trees through the programme.
If you would like to donate money towards a tree planting (R350 per tree) please click here.