Amathole Freshwater Species Conservation Project

As a mountain catchment area and home to a number of threatened freshwater species, the Amathole is a key priority area for us where we focus a lot of our efforts. We are keeping close tabs on the fish and frogs, through regular monitoring in partnership with the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) and the EWT Threatened Amphibian Programme. We have picked up a concerning decline in the presence of the Border Barb (Barbus trevelyani) in the Tyume River. This barb is affected mainly by alien fish and habitat deterioration in the headwaters and these are the issues we are currently addressing. This month, John Waterson from the Bateleurs assisted us with an “eye in the sky” perspective of the entire Keiskamma river from its source in the Amatholes to its mouth at Hamburg. This will form part of our long-term monitoring of the site as we roll out conservation interventions. One of those interventions includes alien vegetation clearing and catchment rehabilitation along the Tyume river. This is now underway and our contractors and their teams have started working after numerous delays. For us, an important part of catchment rehabilitation is community buy-in and we always make a point of discussing river health (through citizen science tools) and its connection to people as we begin the process of regaining rivers for conservation.
USAID-IUCN: A Water Secure

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