West Coast National Park
|West Coast National Park|
Granite formations overlooking the Langebaan Lagoon
|Location||Western Cape, South Africa|
|Area||27,500 hectares (106 sq mi)|
|Governing body||South African National Parks|
The West Coast National Park lies 120 km north of Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. It is 27,500 hectares (106 sq mi) in size. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the west and the R27 coastal road, and runs from the town of Yzerfontein in the south up to the Langebaan lagoon. The park is particularly well known for its bird life and for the spring flowers which occur in the months from August to October, especially in the Postberg flower reserve section of the park. The park, with the islands in Saldanha Bay, has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area.
Wildlife in the park includes large antelope such as eland, red hartebeest, bontebok, kudu, gemsbok, steenbok, mountain zebra, duiker and ostriches in the Postberg section. Other smaller animals include the bat-eared fox, caracal, and Cape gray mongoose.
A flamingo population lives in the salt marshes of the Langebaan lagoon. Many species of sea birds, such as the African penguin, African oystercatcher and the endangered Cape gannet, breed on Jutten and Malgas islands in the West Coast National Park.
The months of August and September bring about the proliferation of annual Spring flowers in the West Coast National Park. Although the thousands of migrating birds are an important part of the conservation, the flowers are also a major attraction. The area of Postberg, where the carpets of flowers can be seen, is only open during these two Spring months. The most common flower species are: Suurvy (Carpobrotus edulis), Elandsvy (Carpobrotus acinaciformis), Gousblom (Arctotis hirsuta), Bokbaai vygie (Dorotheanthus bellidiformis), White rain daisy (Dimorphotheca pluvialis), Sporrie (Heliophila coronopifolia), Magriet (Ursinia anthemoides), and Soetuintjie (Moraea fugax). The park is composed of various kinds of vegetation – as well as the Langebaan fynbos and lagoon - that accounts for the variety of flora and fauna all around the park.
- . "Important Bird Areas factsheet: West Coast National Park and Saldanha Bay islands.". BirdLife International. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- "SANParks | West Coast National Park - SANParks - Official Website". South African National Parks. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
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