Diosma Reserve Update – Site visit Monday, 13 November 2017

Representatives of: Mossel Bay Municipality, Di & Sally - CREW, GCBR, CapeNature – Carlo van Tonder and Nickey le Roux - Mossel Bay Advertiser. Apologies: CREW co-ordinator for SANBI - Ismail Ebrahim (Cape Town).

Warren Manuel of the Mossel Bay Municipality convened a site visit at the behest of Adv Thys Giliomee, the Mossel Bay Municipal Manager, to rid the Diosma Reserve of particularly the resprouting Port Jackson (Acacia saligna).

Site meet & Discussions
It turned out to be quite a contingent and after a short walk and discussion the following:
• No undue disturbance in the Reserve. Ditto number of feet!
• Dirk Zietsman, Mossel Bay Municipality, to oversee eradication in two sections (close to the sidewalk & no access into the reserve) of previously cut and treated, but now sprouting, Port Jackson plus other invasive and problem plants along the church border. One of the mature Port Jacksons infected with the biological control (gall rust fungus) will remain.
• Hand-pull of seedlings (or larger plants) of Port Jackson and Rooikrans (Acacia cyclops) during 2018 as a gradual process, but to be overseen. The Fransmanshoek student rangers could possibly tackle this.
• Warren indicated that funding is available for 80m of ‘ClearVue’ fencing. An application is in for additional funding to complete a barrier on the eastern border (Kershout st) with the urban interface. Fencing will allow for wildlife movement access underneath and between the panels. Fencing in the past has never lasted long due to vandalism and theft. It is only considered now to due to the sensitivity of the site and to prevent mindless rubbish & garden tipping, quad- and mountain biking activities and sand mining. Unfortunately fencing the eastern border will not completely block access to the reserve.
• Originally the site had been prepared for housing and several built storm water manholes (± 7) following two ‘streets’ are now fully exposed after the fire. These pose a danger for tortoises and small antelope traffic. Adv Giliomee indicated that these will be covered.
• A ‘Friends’ group is emerging and Di Turner (Outramps CREW) reiterated the need for an information sheet to be circulated to the neighbours. Sandra to pursue this.
• Carlo van Tonder of CapeNature endorsed the proposed actions. Carlo also provided the Mossel Bay Municipality with a map which indicates some pre-fire localities of Diosma arista plants.
• Some additional signage to discourage dumping was put up opposite New Life Church.

Journalist, Nickey le Roux’s ensuing article in the Mossel Bay Advertiser already resulted in neighbour coming forward with information and pledging his support. He has been removing alien invasive plants and rubble. https://www.mosselbayadvertiser.com/News/Article/General/erns-gemaak-met-reservaat-20171116
A big thank you to the all for goodwill, interest, actions taken and those in the pipeline.

Post-fire Recovery
Four of the Pelargoniums are present and flowering: P capitatum, P betulinum, P triste and P candicans. Searsia rosmarinifolia was flowering and 3 other species resprouting. In terms of the buchus there is a mystery tuft with very hairy leaves and two Agathosma muirii (Vulnerable) plants alive and well (eastern border). No signs of the eagerly awaited seedlings of the Critically Rare Diosma aristata. Protea seedlings were seen, in close proximity to burnt single-stemmed protea skeletons, assumed to be Protea repens. No P lanceolata or the Mossel Bay pincushion Leuscospermun praecox (Vulnerable) recruitment noted as yet. Leucodendron salignum was resprouting all over and the presence of the following common plants were: Trachonathus littoralis, Myrsine africana, Carissa bispinosa, Bobartia robusta, Trichocephalus stipularus is out in full force, three Hermannia species and a H saccifera in flower, the little fern Schizaea pectinata, Gladiolus rogersii, Wahlenbergia capense, Leonotis ocymifolia, Senecio elegans, Dawidjieswortel – Cissampelos capensis. Only burnt tufts of the thatching reed Thamnochortus insignis remained, with several patches of characteristic hair-like restios-to-be emerging and looking good. Some of the Ericas were resprouting, but it will have to be a wait and see before these or other redlisted species such as Erica dispar (near Threatened), Euchaetis albertiniana (Endangered) can be identified.
Sandra Falanga - Reporting for CREW

For circulation to: Mossel Bay Municipality, CREW, CapeNature, GCBR, Nickey le Roux, Friends of the Reserve

Posted by outramps-tanniedi outramps-tanniedi, November 20, 2017 08:43

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