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By Citizen Reporter


More land for four of SA’s national parks

The expansion incorporates an additional 20 206 hectares of land into the parks, some 18 000ha of which were added through the NPTSA and WWF.

Four of South Africa’s national parks have increased in size, thanks to the work of the National Parks Trust of SA (NPTSA) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) SA.

The expansion incorporated an additional 20 206 hectares of land into four of the country’s national parks (SANParks), some 18 000ha of which were added through the NPTSA and WWF.

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“These [expansions] are part of our work to bring some of South Africa’s most threatened habitats and species under the umbrella of SANParks as the custodian of our country’s very special natural heritage for the benefit of everyone,” said WWF SA chief executive Dr Morné du Plessis.

“All of this work contributes towards South Africa’s commitment to the Global Biodiversity Framework to protect 30% of the planet’s terrestrial and marine habitats by 2030.”

The largest of these expansions was for the Namaqua National Park which has grown by 18 391ha (15 992ha through the work of the NPTSA and WWF).

Other national parks to have been expanded are Mokala (with an additional 844ha), Karoo (397ha) and Agulhas (574ha).

The NPTSA, which is managed by WWF SA, helps SANParks acquire land to expand the countries national parks to meet conservation targets and create spaces where fauna and flora can thrive.

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Namaqua National Park covers an array of threatened veld types and will help to protect rare, threatened and endemic plant species, among them the iconic kokerboom, or quiver tree.

In addition, it encompasses a 6km section of a 41km stretch of the Buffels River and the upper catchment of the Swartlintjies river system, both of which are important for the overall ecological functioning of the park.

Mokala National Park provides grazing for a range of rare antelope, such as sable and roan, and other species, including disease-free buffalo.

Its expansion includes Northern Upper Karoo vegetation of which less than one percent is under formal protection.

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