Location and description
SA’s Western Cape is more botanically diverse than the richest tropical rainforest in South America, including the Amazon. A serial site made up of eight protected areas, covering 553 000ha, the Cape Floristic Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world.
The region is one of two hot spots (the other being New Caledonia) that encompass an entire floral kingdom and holds five of SA’s 12 endemic plant families.
Characteristics of global scientific interest are: responses of the plants to fire; seed dispersal by ants and termites; the high level (83%) of plant pollination by insects, mainly beetles and flies; and its linkages to Gondwanaland allowing reconstruction of the flora’s ancient connections