Fynbos

About the Area

This Global ecoregion is made up of these terrestrial ecoregions: Lowland fynbos and renosterveld; Montane fynbos and renosterveld.
The South African Fynbos (meaning "fine-leaved plants" in Dutch) is recognised as one of the six botanical kingdoms of the world and has a richer flora than any other comparable sized area in Africa. There are an estimated 8,500 species of vascular plants found here of which, 70 per cent are endemic.

Local Species
About 8,500 different species of plants grow in the Fynbos along the Cape of South Africa, creating a colorful spot in a very dry country.

Among the thousands of impressive plant species found here are the Marsh rose (Oromthamnus zeyheri), King protea (Protea cynaroides), Pincushion protea (Leucospermum cordifolium), Amaryllis belladona, Gladiolus pillansii, Erica thunbergii, Tritoniopsis burchellii, Aulax cancellata, Mimetes splendidus, Nebelia sphaerocephala, and Cyrtanthus flammosus.

Recently discovered plants include such species as Mimetes chrysanthus and Leucadendron eucalyptifolium. The region supports a diverse array of frogs and other amphibians, including several sensitive species such as the endangered Table Mountain ghost frog (Heleophryne rosei), the vulnerable Cape rain frog (Breviceps gibbosus), the restricted Cape caco (Cacosternum capense), and the Cape platanna (Xenops gilli).

Endemic reptiles include the rare Geometric tortoise (Psammobates tentorius), Southern adder (Bitis armata), Cape rock gecko (Afroedura hawequensis), Black-birded lizard (Cordylus niger), and Small-scaled leaf-toed gecko (Goggia microlepidota).

Among the birds found in this ecoregion is the Cape sugarbird (Promerops cafer), Orange-breasted sunbird (Nectarinia violacea), and Cape francolin (Francolinus capensis). Mammal species include a number of endemics, such as Bontebok (Damaliscus dorcasdorcas), Grysbok (Raphicerus melanotis), plus two species of Cape golden moles, Chrysochloris asiatica and C. visagiei.

Threats
This area has been heavily settled for several centuries, and large areas of natural vegetation, particularly in the lowlands, have been cleared for agriculture and urban development. Invasive alien species, both plant and animal, together with altered fire regimes, pose great threats to this ecoregion.

Resources

Size:
78,000 sq. km (30,000 sq. miles)

Habitat type:
Mediterranean Forests, Woodlands, and Scrub

Geographic Location:
South Africa

Conservation Status:
Critical/Endangered

Quiz Time!

What do you know of the diversity of species in the Fynbos?

Answer:
Although it is less than a hundreth in size as compared to the British Isles that harbour about 1400 plant species, the Cape Penninsula that covers less than .04 percent of world's land surface, is home to a staggering 8,500 variety of plant species.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required