ISi­man­gal­iso Wet­land Park’s indige­nous trees la­belled

Northern Eyethu - - NEWS • IZINDABA - Tam­lyn Jolly

VISI­TORS to the iSi­man­gal­iso Wet­land Park can now en­joy a more ed­u­ca­tional ex­pe­ri­ence af­ter 294 tree species were re­cently la­belled at var­i­ous points, in­clud­ing on walk­ing trails, through­out the park.

More than 2 000 tree la­bels have been placed on com­mon, rare and en­demic indige­nous tree species at var­i­ous pub­lic ac­cess points.

Sites in­clude Maphe­lane, St Lu­cia, Sod­wana Bay, False Bay, East­ern Shores, Western Shores, uMkhuze, Coastal For­est and Kosi Bay.

The project was led by SA tree ex­pert Ge­off Ni­cholls who was as­sisted by iSi­man­gal­iso’s Si­fiso Vu­mase, Nerosha Goven­der and lo­cal isiZulu/Thonga nat­u­ral­ists who are re­spected izinyanga and izan­goma in their com­mu­ni­ties.

Dur­ing the in­ten­sive ex­er­cise, many hours were spent dis­cussing the nu­mer­ous plants and trees’ char­ac­ter­is­tics, both sci­en­tific and medic­i­nal.

Each la­bel shows the sci­en­tific, English, isiZulu and Thonga names of each tree.

‘It is im­por­tant to cap­ture the many dif­fer­ent isiZulu and Thonga names of trees in this area,’ said Nerosha Goven­der, iSi­man­gal­iso’s Man­ager for Re­search and De­vel­op­ment.

‘Owing to the dif­fer­ent di­alects spo­ken in north­ern KZN, one tree species can have many isiZulu and Thonga names de­pend­ing on the area in which the tree is found.’

Linked to smart tech­nol­ogy, many of the la­bels con­tain QR codes, which al­low tourists ac­cess to more de­tailed nat­u­ral and cul­tural in­for­ma­tion about the trees on the SANBI (SA Na­tional Bio­di­ver­sity In­sti­tute) web­site.

The project also served to up­date the park’s tree lists, which have been in­cor­po­rated into the na­tional species lists for South Africa.

All la­bels are loosely fixed with a sin­gle screw to al­low for tree growth, yet can be eas­ily van­dalised.

Ev­ery six months, Vu­mase, a for­mer iSi­man­gal­iso bur­sary stu­dent who is re­spon­si­ble for man­ag­ing the project, will loosen the screws to pre­vent grow­ing trees from warp­ing them, and re­place lost or dam­aged la­bels.

Trails within the wet­land park that now fea­ture la­belled trees in­clude St Lu­cia’s Ig­walag­wala Trail and Crocodile Cen­tre, and Maphe­lane’s Sand Dune Trail.

Other ar­eas within the park where la­belled trees can be found in­clude uMkhuze’s eMshope gate com­plex, St Lu­cia’s es­tu­ary board­walk, Kosi Bay mouth and False Bay’s Ingwe, Mphophe­meni and Du­gandlovu trails.

Inyanga, Si­fiso Vu­mase and Ge­off Ni­chols dur­ing iSi­man­gal­iso’s tree la­belling project

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.