Birds
Mammals
Trees & Shrubs
Grass
Reptiles
Rocks & Lichens
 


NATURE: Trees & Shrubs  


As discussed earlier the reserve has extremely varied topography with 9 distinct eco systems which results in the vegetation being even more varied.

1. Anthropogenic Grassland

This area is high up on the plateau area of the mountain. The area is mainly situated on the Farm Waterval but stretches southwards onto Roodewalshoek. The vegetation is flat to undulating anthropogenic grassland, mostly the relicts of old fields, but also of grazed areas where the anthropogenic grass Hyparrhenia hirta dominates. Scattered within this grassland are smaller rocky outcrops / sheets where a few woody species and a variety of herbaceous species occur. A large patch of alien plantation occurs within this area, with Acaciamearnsii, Eucalyptus spp and Pinus spp . These will be cleared according to the environmental management plan. There are also old orchards which will be rehabilitated.

2. Steep Slopes and Valleys

The steep slopes of the valleys contain temperate mountain bushveld dominated by Protea caffra though many other woody species are present. At some moist localities invasion of Populus alba is taking place. Proteawelwitschii is often present on the plateau side of the slope. The steep slope areas are high in biodiversity and are sensitive to erosion. Further north, within the same system, Faurea saligna and Protea roupelliae are prominent.

3. Grassland with scattered woody outcrops

These grasslands with scattered bush clumps are situated on gradual slopes within the hilly countryside. The vegetation is mostly open grassland often with Hyparrhenia hirta dominant, indicating some over-utilisation in the past. The grass layer is however, well developed, with sour grasses dominant. Rocky outcrops are dominated by scattered Protea caffra trees, but a variety of other woody species are present. This community is rich in species with various endemic or red data species encountered.

4. Plains bushveld at the Dam

This area includes the plains vegetation along the dam edge, mostly north of the road to the Buffelskloof Dam. This is a plains bushveld with thorn trees and Euclea sp as dominants.

5. Arid Bushveld on northern slopes

This area is situated in the northern part of the property. The Arid Bushveld occurs on the complex rocky, warm and arid northern slopes of the mountains, representing different. Habitat conditions on the smaller scale, with differences in species composition. Faurea saligna, Aloe marlothii and Aloe castanea are examples of local prominent species. At the foot of these slopes are deeper sandy soils with Terminalia sericea dominant. A large variety of trees and shrubs is present.

6. Acacia Thornveld in Valley bottom

A very small portion in the north-western part of Buffelskloof contains this vegetation. It is associated with a small spruit draining northwards towards the river. This area contains sweet grass and is heavily grazed by cattle. The dominant plants are Acacia robusta and Acacia karroo.

7. Sandveld

Sandveld with Terminalia sericea as dominant occurs at the foot of the northern slopes of the mountains. This is a very small part of the farm on the northern parts.

8. Southern Grassland

This vegetation occurs on the southern part of Roodewalshoek. It is hilly country with an undulating topography. The area is covered with grassland, often dominated by Hyparrhenia hirta , indicating some disturbance. Rocky outcrops have open woody vegetation with a variety of tree species.

9. Rivers and streams

Several water courses occur on the property. Most of these originate high up in the mountains on the property, or in some cases on neighbouring properties. The larger Watervalrivier (in which the Buffelskloof Dam was constructed) and the Roodewalshoek se Loop are both outside the boundaries of the property. All water courses are considered to be sensitive with High conservation value. All water courses are therefore considered to be protected. Generally species woody such as Acacia karroo, Rhamnus prinoides, Euclea crispa, Rhus pyroides Gymnosporiabuxifolia are found in the spruit areas. There are often alien species e.g. Acacia mearnsii and Populus spp. in the spruit areas. These should be controlled. (Act ). In the water sedge and grass species are present, especially Miscanthus junceus and several Cyperaceae. Other species include Monopsisdecipiens, Senecio inornatus, Oenothera rosea, Lobekia erinus and others.

The following trees have been identified:

162 Common Hook Thorn
172 Sweet Thorn

Black Wattle

183 Robust Thorn
187 Paper Bark Thorn
28.6 Cats-tail Aloe
29.5 Mountain Aloe

Travellers Joy

536 River Bush Willow
537 Velvet Bushwillow
563 Moutain Cabbage
564 Cabbage
564.3 Grey Cabbage
190 Sickel Bush
602.2 Fire sticks
605 Blue bush Star-apple
611 Bladder-nut
471 Common wild pear
657 Puzzle Tree
192 Elephant Root
581 Tvl Milk Plum
245 Coral Tree

Gumtree

594 Blue Guarrie
601 Small leave Guarrie
351 Tree Euphorbia
75 Transvaal Beech
459 Raisen
Spike Thorn
455 Lavender Tree

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