Open Access Research

A rapid multi-disciplinary biodiversity assessment of the Kamdebooberge (Sneeuberg, Eastern Cape, South Africa): implications for conservation

Vincent R Clark1*, Sandun J Perera2, Michael Stiller3, Charles H Stirton4, Peter H Weston5, Pavel Stoev6, Gareth Coombs16, Dale B Morris7, Dayani Ratnayake-Perera2, Nigel P Barker1 and Gillian K McGregor8

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Botany, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa

2 School of Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus, Durban, 4000, South Africa

3 Biosystematics Division, Agricultural Research Council, Plant Protection Research Institute, Private Bag X134, Pretoria, Queenswood, 0121, South Africa

4 Department of Botany, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, 7700, South Africa

5 National Herbarium of New South Wales, Sydney, 2000, Australia

6 National Museum of Natural History, Sofia and Pensoft Publishers, Sofia, Bulgaria

7 Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa

8 Department of Geography, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa

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SpringerPlus 2012, 1:56  doi:10.1186/2193-1801-1-56

Published: 6 December 2012

Abstract

Botanical work since 2008 on the Sleeping Giant section of the Kamdebooberge (Sneeuberg mountain complex, Eastern Cape, South Africa) has indicated that these mountains may be of significant conservation value. Accordingly, a precursory, rapid multi-disciplinary biodiversity assessment was undertaken in January 2011, focusing on plants, tetrapod vertebrates and leafhoppers. The botanical results confirm the Kamdebooberge as being of high botanical conservation value, hosting three strict endemics, healthy populations of five other Sneeuberg endemics, and fynbos communities comprising species not found elsewhere in the Sneeuberg. The Kamdebooberge are important for herpetofauna (excluding serpentoids) and mammals, hosting several range-restricted and regional endemics. The expedition uncovered three new leafhopper species, together with several species previously only known from the Cape Floristic Region. Further detailed faunal work may provide further interesting results from these mountains, which show a high conservation value unique to the southern Escarpment.

Keywords:
Endemics; Great escarpment; Kamdebooberge; Plants; Invertebrates; Sneeuberg centre of floristic endemism; Vertebrates