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African Birdlife: The FitzPatrick Report: Conserving high-elevation grasslands

18 Mar 2013 - 13:15

PFIAO. 2013. The FitzPatrick Report: Conserving high-elevation grasslands. African Birdlife1(3):18.

"Grasslands are the second largest biome in South Africa, covering almost 340 000 square kilometres. They contain the country’s economic heartland, with great mineral wealth as well as vital agricultural production. In addition to supporting some 20 million head of livestock, the grassland biome produces virtually all South Africa’s maize and a large proportion of the other cereal crops. The grasslands also generate the bulk of the fresh water needed to sustain human life. And yet grasslands are among South Africa’s most threatened biomes, with only 2.5 per cent formally conserved. Around two-thirds of the biome has already been transformed by agriculture, urbanisation and mining, and remaining areas are under tremendous development pressures. As a result, it is crucial that we understand how best to manage the remaining grassland areas to maximise their conservation value. " More..