What is so special about the St Francis Nature Areas?
Our local vegetation type is named St Francis Fynbos/Thicket Mosaic and occurs only in the lime-rich coastal sandy areas scattered between the eastern Tsitsikamma in the west and Port Elizabeth (Cape Recife) in the east.
Our vegetation type falls within the Cape Floral Region – the CFR (formally known as the Cape Floral Kingdom) which extends roughly from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, covering an area of 90 000 km2. The CFR is home to 9000 plant species, 70% of which are endemic (i.e. grow nowhere else in the world) and has been identified as a biodiversity hotspot and recognized as a global priority for conservation.
St Francis Fynbos/Thicket Mosaic is found in only a tiny area – covering only 0.2% of the CFR. Some 64% our vegetation has been disturbed – mainly by dense stands of alien plants(84%) and coastal development (16%). Scientific studies show that this vegetation is under dire threat – from past impacts and future threats. It has been classified as Critically Endangered and requires protection under national legislation because of this status.
Its safeguarding, therefore, is a responsibility for all South Africans and especially for those who own property in the area