Land Rehabilitation at the Karoo National Park

Land Rehabilitation at the Karoo National Park,
Land Rehabilitation at the Karoo National Park,

Land Rehabilitation at the Karoo National Park in Beaufort West

The rehabilitation of land within the Karoo National Park is undertaken by the Biodiversity Special Projects (BSP) team. Local people from Beaufort West are given opportunities to work while gaining a greater understanding of environmental issues. Rehabilitation is the drive towards re-establishing the structure and functionality of degraded land and the BSP team is tasked with taking appropriate action to curb unnatural erosion, particularly in sensitive areas.

Most farmlands purchased for Park expansion have been transformed in some way. Degradation through previous agricultural land use practices is evidenced by minor vegetation transformations. Historical overgrazing has been accompanied by both donga and sheet erosion. In dongas, the main intervention is the construction of gabions.  Rubble from old farm houses is used to fill dongas and topsoil follows, seeded with grass. Sheet erosion is carefully managed and primarily involves re-vegetation.

The Nama-Karoo system is a very delicate system which needs to be protected. Vegetation change is slow in the Karoo with many plants having long lives. If the land is damaged in any way, rehabilitation takes a very long time. Biodiversity between species, including animal and plant life is very important and if not managed correctly, can have devastating and cascading effects. The number of game species in relation to area is monitored and controlled via game capture when necessary.

More information on the rehabilitation of the land in and around the Karoo National Park is available in the official guide book and at the Park