Papkuilsfontein lies within an area recognized as the “bulb capital of the world. This area, encompassing much of the Bokkeveld Plateau has the highest speciation of indigenous bulbous plants in the world. In some areas the density of bulbs reaches more than 20,000 plants per square meter, more than anywhere else on earth. More than 1350 species of flowering bulbs, 80 of which are endemic *, occur on the plateau. Over one third of the endemics are Red data species threatened with extinction. The unique geography of the plateau is largely responsible for the incredible biodiversity found here. From the edge of the escarpment in the west, across a short distance of just 20km to the east, one crosses no less than four different soil types, supporting four different vegetation types. The vegetation types are Bokkeveld Sandstone Fynbos, Nieuwoudtville Shale Renosterveld, Hantam Karoo and Vanrhyndsorp Shale Renosterveld. Papkuilsfontein Guest Farm is located in the center of this amazing area and is home to many of the endemic and rare floral species.
An interesting spectrum of animals are found on the farm – amphibians, reptiles, mammals and many bird species. Papkuilsfontein is truly a birder’s paradise and 145 species can be encountered at various times throughout the year. Verreaux’s Eagles, Blue Cranes and Black Harriers area all known to breed on Papkuilsfontein on an annual basis.
Several red listed species also occur on the farm.
Legislation in South Africa makes provision for different levels of formal protection. National Parks and Nature Reserves represent the highest levels of protection, and are regulated by strict legislation. These are followed by Protected Environments (PE’s) which are areas of high conservation and ecological value and are representative of South Africa’s biological diversity.
Sustainable practices such as farming can continue in PE’s, unsustainable activities such as mining are prohibited. Formally protected areas can be zoned to accommodate different land uses. Management plans are developed to ensure conservation and other priorities are integrated and sustainable land management is practiced.
EWT SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT INITIATIVE
Papkuilsfontein is of great conservation value because of its unique geology, fauna and flora. The partnership with the Endangered Wildlife Trust looks to protect these natural features whilst still maintaining the functionality of the farm. Farming practices are planned and implemented in line with a management plan developed for the farm. The natural areas on the farm are managed and secured under the Protected Environment declaration. By implementing this Sustainable Land Management initiative there is a twofold benefit to conservation as well as farming.
For more information visit : www.karooforever.org.za
Papkuilsfontein farm has a range of activities on the farm, from small stock farming and tea production, to eco-tourism. Some of the sustainable initiatives include matching stock numbers to grazing capacity, farming dryland crops and lambing under supervision to reduce livestock losses to predation.
The development of mountain bike and trail running routes on the farm will further increase the tourism offering, and serves as a sustainable land use activity. By having more than one income generating activity on the farm it reduces risks during times of drought.