PICTURE: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)
PICTURE: Brendan Magaar/African News Agency(ANA)

Tortoises, skinks and lizards spared by conservationists during Kleinmond’s five day fire

By Crispin Adriaanse Time of article published Jan 13, 2022

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CAPE TOWN – A number of wildlife species have been spared from the five-day Kleinmond fire, and will be released once their habitat is safer.

Seventy tortoises, 16 chameleons, 50 skinks, lizards and snakes were taken out of the fire’s path by the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve team, South Africa’s oldest biosphere reports on Wednesday.

Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve was declared a biosphere reserve by Unesco, emphasising the value the Kleinmond area’s habitat possesses – all of which were hung in the balance as the fire devastated the area for the last five days.

The fire has devised more than 5 300 hectares of vegetation, creating a mammoth task at assessing the consequences of the blaze.

As a result, Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve has asked the public to assist in uncovering the impact the fire has had on the wildlife.

Here’s what the team wants you to do (when it’s safe):

  • If you are walking in or close to the burnt areas and come across dead wildlife, take a photo.
  • Make a note of the dead wildife you come across.
  • Record the route which you walked.
  • Email all of the information you collected to Corlie of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve at [email protected]

The Overstrand Municipality reports on day five of the fire that the blaze has been contained, in its latest update from 6pm.

Three flare-ups did occur – two above Heuningkloof and the other one along the R43 – however all three have been successfully contained.

“Crews will remain on scene to continue with mop-up operations throughout the night until relief teams will take over tomorrow morning,” Overstrand Executive Mayor Dr Annelie Rabie said.

The majority of the burnt-out alien vegetation remains hot and is said to continue to smoulder for weeks, which may affect visibility.


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