Plans are afoot in South Africa to open up an ancient migratory trail used by the endangered Cape mountain zebra and other wildlife.
The exciting new initiative aims to create a corridor between Camdeboo and Mountain Zebra National Parks to improve the conservation status of South Africa’s grassland animals.
A partnership between the Wilderness Foundation and South African National Parks (SANParks) aims to 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 the Cape mountain zebra, black wildebeest, cheetah and black rhino.
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.
Several 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.
Interested parties have been invited to an information session on May 16 in Graaff-Reinet, at the Methodist Church hall in Caledon Street.