Mammals

Mammals

The South African Hedgehog is a red data species that occurs in the GEKCO conservancy. These cute mammals used to be seen regularly by residents in the area but in recent years it appears that their population is declining due to habitat loss and urbanisation. Keeping natural grassland areas open and natural will enable these nocturnal creatures to continue to survive in the conservancy for many years to come- Photo by Tyrone Mckendry

The South African Hedgehog is a red data species that occurs in the GEKCO conservancy- Photo by Tyrone Mckendry

Many indigenous mammal species are scarce or completely absent from urban areas due to the pressures caused by  urbanisation which results in a loss of natural habitat. Large tracts of land are frequently divided and degraded to make room for development resulting in habitat fragmentation. The GEKCO conservancy is considered to be peri-urban and as such there are still many areas that are capable of supporting local wildlife. A number of wetlands traverse the conservancy creating ‘natural’ ecological or wildlife corridors which allow species to move between habitat fragments as well as providing suitable habitat for foraging, reproducing and using for shelter. Recent studies in the area have shown that there are still a fair number of indigenous mammals surviving in the conservancy and there is some evidence to suggest that these animals are using the corridors as a means for dispersal. However the area is constantly threatened with new development if these last patches of remnant vegetation and open space are not protected then it is very likely that many of the local mammals as well as other wildlife will disappear from the area.

The presence of the South African Hedgehog (Erinaceus f. frontalis), an endangered species, is one reason that the area must be conserved, and where possible it should be rehabilitated.

GEKCO Mammal ListIf you have seen a species in the area that is not on the list, please contact me so I can add it. Please be aware that if the species you saw is unusual or out of range I will need a photo as verification before I can add it to the list. Email: biodiversity@gekco.co.za

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