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Things are on the up: UWC wetland back after seven years

Author: Robin Adams

Spring has sprung at the Cape Flats Nature Reserve - UWC

(Published - 17 September 2020)

Purple, pink, yellow, blue and red - Spring brings an abundance of colour to the reserve.

The white carpet of Rain daisies (Dimorphotheca pluvialis) and Drumsticks (Zaluzianskya villosa), the purple pops of colour of the Blou Afrikaner (Gladiolus carinatus) and We Kindertjies (Nemesia affinis) and dormant bulbs have sprung to life and are now seen dotting the landscape in full colour.

After the long period of much-needed rain, the Cape Flats Nature Reserve has demonstrated its gratitude. The most exciting feature is our seasonal wetland that has finally filled up - last seen this full in 2013. 

With the abundance of water, you can hear the frogs croaking, the birds chirping and scurrying of creatures busy with their Spring activities.

 

More good news is that the restored wetland has led to the rediscovery of the Water mongoose (Atilax paludinosus) – spotted on our camera on the eve of 31 July 2020. 

This was our first visual of this solitary, nocturnal animal. The Water mongoose was added to our species list in 2016 based on the footprints we found, but we had not managed to capture any photographic evidence until now. This is a definite indication of the importance of our wetland to biodiversity.

The animal differs from our small grey mongoose (Galerella pulverulenta) which is diurnal (active during the day) and can occur in groups.

 

They feed on aquatic prey such as crabs, prawns, fish and frogs, but are also known to take terrestrial prey such as mammals, birds, insects, reptiles as well as plant material. 

Water mongooses are mainly associated with rivers, streams, marshes, swamps, dams and estuaries. They may, however, move some distance away from water in search of food. 

August to December is when their young are born, so we can only hope to capture a female and her young on the camera one day.

See a gallery of pictures by reserve conservationists, Robin Adams and Laurenda van Breda, here:

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMVW7dfJ9JMFB12Cj2kaSVc2Q9tsRI4AUjM0P8yGAtYsosZKO2rgZiVnZxCHhQCRA?key=a2E5QURnV3VoRHE2S3FYM0s3QWNBN09NbjdrYUpn
Or
https://photos.app.goo.gl/LCciNTNba1uqfN239

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