Cape Floral Region Protected Areas
A serial site in the Western Cape, made up of eight protected areas, covering 553,000-ha. The Cape Floral Region is one of the richest areas for plants in the world. It represents less than 0.5% of the area of Africa but is home to nearly 20% of the continent’s flora.
The Cape Floral Protected site displays outstanding ecological and biological processes associated with the Fynbos vegetation, which is unique to the Cape Floral Region. The outstanding diversity, density and endemism of the flora are among the highest worldwide. Unique plant reproductive strategies, adaptive to fire, patterns of seed dispersal by insects, as well as patterns of endemism and adaptive radiation found in the flora are of outstanding value to science.
Justification for Inscription: Criterion (ii):
The Cape Floral Region is considered of outstanding universal value for representing ongoing ecological and biological processes associated with the evolution of the unique Fynbos biome. These processes are represented generally within the Cape Floral Region and captured in the eight protected areas. Of particular scientific interest are the plant reproductive strategies including the adaptive responses to fire of the flora and the patterns of seed dispersal by insects. The pollination biology and nutrient cycling are other distinctive ecological processes found in the site. The Cape Floral Region forms a centre of active speciation where interesting patterns of endemism and adaptive radiation are found in the flora.
The Cape Floral Kingdom is one of the richest areas for plants than for any similar sized area in the world. The number of species per genus within the region (9:1) and per family (52) are among the highest given for various species-rich regions in the world. The species density in the Cape Floral Region is also amongst the highest in the world. It displays the highest levels of endemism at 31.9 % and it has been identified as one of the world’s 18 biodiversity hot spots. (Source: UNESCO).
The Cape Floral Kingdom / Table Mountain National Park:
At the south-western tip of Africa, the Table Mountain National Park encompasses the incredibly scenic Peninsula mountain chain stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south, a distance of approximately 60 km. The narrow portion of land with its many beautiful valleys, bays and beaches is circled by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the west and the warmer waters of False Bay in the east. The Table Mountain National Park has two world-renowned landmarks within its boundaries; the majestic Table Mountain and the legendary Cape of Good Hope. See additional information about Table Mountain National Park.