Maputaland–Pondoland bushland and thickets

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Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets
Oribi gorge.jpg
AT1012 map.png
Map of the Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets
Ecology
RealmAfrotropical
Biomemontane grasslands and shrublands
BordersAlbany thickets, Drakensberg montane grasslands, woodlands, and forests, Kwazulu-Cape coastal forest mosaic, and Nama Karoo
Geography
Area19,400 km2 (7,500 sq mi)
CountriesSouth Africa
Conservation
Conservation statusCritical/endangered

The Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets is one of the ecoregions of South Africa. It consists of the montane shrubland biome.[1]

Geography[edit]

The ecoregion occupies the foothills of the Drakensberg mountains, covering an area of 19,500 square kilometers (7,500 sq mi) in South Africa's Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. It is bounded on the east by the KwaZulu-Cape coastal forest mosaic, which lies in the humid coastal strip along the Indian Ocean; to the west it is bounded by the higher-elevation Drakensberg montane grasslands, woodlands and forests. To the south, it transitions to the drier Albany thickets, which are characterized by more succulent and spiny plants.

Climate[edit]

The ecoregion has a dry subtropical climate. Rainfall varies from 800 mm to 450 mm per year, with approximately three-quarters of the rain falling in the warm summer months between October and March. Frosts are rare because of the moderating influence of the Indian Ocean.

Flora[edit]

Euphorbias in valley bushveld

The typical vegetation is sclerophyll evergreen shrubs, which form dense, closed canopy thickets up to six meters in height. The ecoregion, which is in a transition between moist and dry, montane and lowland, and temperate and tropical, has a rich diversity of species, although with few endemics.

Fauna[edit]

The ecoregion is home to a variety of animal species, including endangered black rhinos (Diceros bicornis) and white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum).

Protected areas[edit]

A 1994 survey found that about 7.5% of the ecoregion is in protected areas. Protected areas include the Great Fish River Nature Reserve, Oribi Gorge Nature Reserve, and Thomas Baines Nature Reserve.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ecoregions of South Africa Archived 2011-11-16 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Maputaland-Pondoland bushland and thickets". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°40′S 29°24′E / 30.667°S 29.400°E / -30.667; 29.400