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2X The Impact
Thanks to generous donor support, we have successfully reached our fundraising goal for this project.
Endemic to the Western Cape of South Africa, the Geometric Tortoise is one of the world’s most endangered reptiles. Due to urban and agricultural expansion, however, the turtle has lost nearly 95% of its habitat.
Urbanization and agricultural expansion now threaten to sever an important ecological corridor running through an already endangered landscape.
To save this corridor and protect the largest remaining population of the Geometric Tortoise, Rainforest Trust has partnered with the South African Tortoise Conservation Trust (SATCT) to purchase 212 acres of Fynbos (shrubland) habitat and create the Geometric Tortoise Preserve.
Breede River Valley, Western Cape Province, South Africa
Geometric Tortoise (EN), Angulate Tortoise, Parrot-beaked Tortoise, Lampranthus scaber (EN plant species), Athanasia crenata (EN plant species)
Lowland Fynbos shrubland
Agricultural expansion, urbanization, overgrazing, uncontrolled fire
Purchase 212 acres to create the Geometric Tortoise Preserve
South African Tortoise Conservation Trust (SATCT),
Price Per Acre
The proposed reserve, located within the Upper Breede River Valley bioregion, contains some of the last remaining intact lowland Fynbos habitat.
The valley is the global stronghold of the Endangered Geometric Tortoise and the highest density of tortoises in the area is found in Rainforest Trust’s project site. The proposed reserve will protect 15-25 percent of the entire remaining wild population of Geometric Tortoises. In addition to multiple species of tortoise, the area supports significant populations of at least five rare plant species – perhaps as many as 12 – and has a very high local and regional conservation value. These plants are part of the Breede Alluvium Fynbos, an endangered vegetation type restricted to the Upper Breede River Valley. None of this ecosystem has been protected, and less than 43% of it remains.
Urban sprawl spreading outward from Cape Town presents an immediate risk to habitat in the Upper Breede River Valley.
In addition, agricultural development in the area poses a threat as populations in nearby cities rise and demands on local natural resources increase. Much of the Breede River Valley is covered with vineyards and ranches, making the loss of more habitat inevitable without protection.
The population of South Africa’s Western Cape Province is composed of a diverse mixture of native Africans, whites and inhabitants of Indian and Asian descent.
Four languages are spoken in this multi-cultural society, Afrikaans being the dominant with 50% of the population using it as a first language. The total population of the Western Cape Province is 5.8 million, with approximately two-thirds of residents living in the metropolitan area of Cape Town.
Thanks to the generous support of our Board members and other supporters who cover all of our operating expenses, Rainforest Trust is able to allocate 100% of donations to conservation action. No board member receives financial benefit and our staff salaries are modest.
Rainforest Trust is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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