Ecology, fire and the phoenix

A recent newsletter from the Endangered Wildlife Trust mentioned a planned burn to help save the habitat of the rough moss frog. What I found interesting about the story, is that it is using fire to help preserve a part of the environment. I think that when many people think about fire, they think it’s negative or destructive, like the recent fire that damaged the Jagger Reading Room at UCT, among other places, or the fire which destroyed the roof and spires of Notre Dame cathedral. Happily, repair work is about to start. However, fire can actually be a good thing and is necessary for the healthy functioning of many environments.

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Weekend nature walk

Rondebosch Common with Table Mountain in the background

Rondebosch Common with Table Mountain in the background

I decided, a few weeks back, to make a point to walk on the weekends. Other than that I don’t really get a huge amount of exercise. Luckily, I’m not too far away from a large open area, Rondebosch Common. Many people in the surrounding area go there to walk, with or without their dogs, and it is one of the few places where you can still find Cape Flats Sand Fynbos, which only occurs in Cape Town. According to Wikipedia, 85% of its range has been lost and only 1% of what remains is protected. Rondebosch Common is one of those areas. It’s also interesting to note that South Africa’s Fynbos is one of the most diverse types of vegetation. Continue reading