Table Mountain Region
TABLE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK – ‘A PARK FOR ALL, FOREVER’
Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) is unique in being a world heritage site; part of the Cape Floral Kingdom (with over 8 000 species, 70% of which are endemic); a national and international tourist destination (over 4 million visitors a year); and an open access park in Cape Town (a city of 5 million people)
Chairperson: Ruedi Siegenthaler - 083 302 3743 - JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
Secretary: Jeanne Plaut - 076 476 7627 - JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING or
Sue Smith – 083 461 9686 - JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
Time: 09H00 on Saturdays
Venue: Either TMNP’s Kloof Nek Visitors Centre or
Cape Point Visitors Centre
Directions: From the city centre: Take Kloof Nek Road towards the cable car Follow Kloof Nek Road to the top of the hill where there’s a circular intersection of several roads. Turn right into Signal Hill Road which goes up to Signal Hill, 200m up the road, the second driveway on the right, there is a white house with signage on the wall which reads: TMNP Visitors Services Centre, turn right here into the parking area.
For further information or confirmation, please contact HR Ruedi Siegenthaler on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
CAPE OUTDOOR EXPO
The Table Mountain National Park Honorary Rangers (TMNP HR’s) award-winning stand attracted many visitors to the Outdoor Expo at Sandringham farm.
While the focus was on TMNP and the activities offered, the stand also drew the public’s attention to the value of the Wild Card and highlighted SANParks Rhino anti-poaching campaign.
Visitors were very complimentary about SANParks and its facilities, and interested in the work being done by the HR’s.
Other exhibitors included Ezemvelo/KZN Wildlife, Cape Nature, tour operators and resorts.
Congratulations to HR John Elford for designing and constructing the stand and thanks to the HRs who assisted in promoting SANParks. For further information, please contact HR John Elford on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
TMNP PATROL DOG CAMPAIGN
The TMNP HR’s launched phase 1 of the TMNP Patrol Dog Campaign in high spirits in June 2011 with the sponsorship of Orbit, a two year-old German Shepherd (pictured above).
The campaign immediately captured the attention of Cape Town’s mountain users with individuals, corporates, sports clubs and volunteer organisations generously providing support. By December 2011, the Kloofnek Dog Unit proudly owned ten highly trained German Shepherds, and in February 2012 funds were found for the purchase of a special purpose dog to complete the unit.
“Highly trained dogs like these are able to cover more space in half the time and have many advantages over other interventions and deterrents,” said Table Mountain National Park Manager Paddy Gordon.
The campaign supports TMNP’s decision to more than double the number of patrol dogs active on Table Mountain as part of SANParks’ prioritised and extended Visitor Safety Programme. The ranger handlers with their dogs are out on the mountain at all hours and in all weathers on crime prevention initiatives and responding to rescue and recovery needs.
All the dogs are trained to Level 4 to search and retrieve, and arrive at the Kloofnek Dog Unit ready and eager to patrol a huge wilderness area. Together with their highly qualified ranger handlers, the dogs are having a significant impact, with a marked increase in the number of arrests.
“The dog is like an extra ranger with speed and agility,” said Hilton Blumeris, Senior Section Ranger.
PATROL DOG SPONSORS
ORBIT - acsis VOB Running Club
ROCKY - K9 Training Centre & Kennels, suppliers & trainers of all patrol dogs
ESKO - Waterfront Rotary Club, which also built the new kennels
PURDY - Pedal Power Association
CZ - Mrs Ann Thaning
BAXTER - Mr & Mrs Laubser
ALEX - Trencor
EATON - SANParks Honorary Rangers: Table Mountain Region & acsis VOB Running Club
GIO - SANParks Honorary Rangers: Ranger Support Services
IGOR - SANParks Honorary Rangers: Ranger Support Services
ALI - Tayler, May and Smith families, and The Batrun
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT from Capetonians inspired by the Kloofnek Dog Unit’s work:
Hill’s Pet Nutrition SA - High quality food and publicity for the Dog Unit
Dr Melissa Charles - Dog Unit’s personal vet
Afrivet - Annual vaccines
Five Star - Identity chips for the dogs
Bayer - Advantix and de-worming tablets
Wynberg Rotary Inner Circle - Sleeper beds for the dogs
The story of the Dog Unit attracted wide-ranging print, radio, TV and internet interest – including Die Burger, Cape Argus, Eye Witness News, Radio 702 & 567 Cape Talk radio, Chinese Central TV News, community newspapers and websites - taking the good news story of these incredible working dogs to South Africa and the world.
The TMNP Patrol Dog Campaign has made a long term investment in the working lives of the Kloofnek Dog Unit’s extraordinary dogs.
“The generous support for the Kloofnek Dog Unit has been exciting and has shown people’s willingness to be part of the solution. It has encouraged us to look at extending the Dog Unit,” said TMNP Park Manager Paddy Gordon.
To support the Table Mountain Dog Unit, contact project leader HR Sue Smith on 083 461 9686 or JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
RHINO ANTI-POACHING INITIATIVE
SANParks has made the Rhino Anti-Poaching Initiative a priority within all the national parks, and even though TMNP has no rhino on show, the Honorary Rangers are treating this initiative as one of our own, and endeavour to raise the critical funds to fight the scourge of rhino poaching.
If you are able to assist with any donations, money or materials, be it big or small, please contact HR Diane Brooks on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING or HR Michael McSweeney on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING for further information on assisting us in this critical cause.
Honorary Rangers regularly do foot patrols throughout TMNP which extends from Cape Point to Signal Hill.
Working closely with TMNP, the HR’s assist as “eyes and ears” in Table Mountain National Park. Areas covered include Signal Hill, Lions Head and the front of the Mountain past the cable station to Devils Peak and the Queens Blockhouse. This path which continues through beautiful Afro-Montane forest through to Kirstenbosch is also patrolled. Other popular areas covered are Cecilia Forest as well as the historical Back Table with its 5 dams. Silvermine is also a popular tourist area and has many picnic sites as well as scenic walks. Paths on the Southern side of Silvermine lead all the way to Kalk Bay.
Further south is the popular Boulders Penguin colony and the road to Cape Point which is frequented by a number of resident baboon troops. These are the only baboons that habitually feed on shell fish on the shore. The Cape Point section of the park including the ship wreck trail. Olifantsbos and The Cape of Good Hope are patrolled on foot or in a vehicle. HR’s also patrol from Slangkop Lighthouse through to Chapman’s Peak along Noordhoek beach.
FULL MOON PATROL ON LION’S HEAD
SANParks HR’s patrol Lions Head every full moon when hundreds of visitors ascend the mountain to take in the splendid view of the setting sun and rising full moon. Many of the public are ill-equipped for walking on the mountain and the HRs keep an eye out for any problems that may arise.
In the event of an emergency situation occurring Park Rangers are contacted through the Park radio network who will call in emergency personnel. For further information, please contact HR Ruedi Siegenthaler on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
AFRICAN PENGUIN NEST BOX PROJECT
A total of 200 nest boxes were handed to Table Mountain National by the HR’s, in partnership with Dyer Island Conservation Trust; US-based Species Survival Plan and members of the public, including schools.
The specially designed nest boxes are a response to the decline in the Red Data-listed African Penguin population. The population of African Penguins has experienced a dramatic decline in recent years to only 55 000 birds with the population at Boulders dropping from 3500 birds in 2005 to 2600 in 2007. The nest boxes will help conserve the Boulders Colony population of African Penguins by protecting eggs from predators and juveniles from heat exhaustion, which is having an impact on these charismatic sea birds. This project is be part of on-going research at Boulders.
The Table Mountain Region annually sources prizes and donations for the auction. We also set up a braai station on the d ay as well as providing pancakes and tea to visitors. This project is supported by Checkers, Toys R Us, Club Travel and Thorp Motor Group. These activities generate much needed funds which goes to SANNCOB for the rehabilitation of seabirds. In 2011 the Penguin Festival collected a whopping R152 000. Of this, R75 000 will be allocated to the Burger's Walk Project, R30 000 to the hatchery and African Penguin Chick Bolstering Project. The balance of R47 000 will go to SANCCOB for their ongoing rescue, rehabilitation and releasing of penguins and other sea birds.
CAPE POINT LIGHTHOUSE PAINTING AND GRAFITTI REMOVAL
The HR’s are also involved with graffiti removal on natural rocks within the park particularly on Table Mountain. Using special environmentally friendly paint remover the rocks are scrubbed clean returning them to their natural beauty. The Cape Point lighthouse is inspected on a regular basis for graffiti and the necessary graffiti removal program is implemented as needed.
GRAFITTI BUSTERS AT WORK IN TMNP
A group of HR’s from the Table Mountain region, led by HR Adir Deokaran, cleaned up graffiti along Tafelberg Road just below Table Mountain, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
The pictures show a particularly good outcrop of the angular unconformity between near-vertical Malmesbury slate and overlying Graafwater formation sandstone and mudstone. The site has been disfigured by graffiti for many years.
Using an eco-friendly paint remover sponsored by Plascon, the HR’s clean graffiti off the natural rocks, stone bridges and walls which have been vandalised by visitors.
This arouses great interest and support from cyclists and hikers who see the HR’s at work. The message is getting out there – vandals write it, SANParks HR’s will remove it.
Contact HR Adir Deokaran on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING if you have graffiti alert in Table Mountain National Park.
Anyone interested in following suit elsewhere should contact HR George Smith on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING for technical advice.
Cape Point, Newlands Forest and Silvermine are some of the paths and boardwalks regularly maintained by the HR’s to ensure the safety of walkers. The boardwalk at Cape Point is exposed to the elements and needs constant maintenance to keep it safe and user friendly, whilst the contour path from the Queens Block House to Kirstenbosch needs regular clearing of trees that fall across the path. For further information, please contact HR Ruedi Siegenthaler on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
OMTOM – OLD MUTUAL TWO OCEANS MARATHON
“When you put a Marathon and a Mountain together, you create the very exciting partnership of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon with SANParks and the HR’s. Together we provide strong support for some of Table Mountain National Park’s key environmental initiatives,” said HR George Smith, of the SANParks HR’s, Table Mountain region. “It is a magnificent and far-sighted strategy for Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon to give such generous support to the National Park through which their race is run.”
Both SANParks and the HR’s were beneficiaries of the 2012 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon receiving R175 000 and R35 000 respectively. This will be used to plant indigenous trees in Cecelia forest and for trail building, upgrade and maintenance of paths. Both projects are of great benefit to the park’s regular users and to the increasing number of visitors.
The SANParks and HR’s stand at the OMTOM expo received a Silver award and nearly a hundred additional trees were bought at the expo by members of the public who will be invited to a special tree planting day to be held midyear.
The TMNP HR’s region comprises approximately 35 volunteers who support Table Mountain National Park by raising funds and contribute time and expertise on a voluntary basis. It is one of 30 HR regions nation-wide making up the South African National Parks (SANParks) Honorary Rangers organisation, a Public Benefit Organisation with over 1000 members. For more information, please contact HR Sue Smith on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
INVASIVE ALIEN SPECIES CLEARING
The HR’s had special training conducted by HR/Dr Tony Rebelo in the invasive species in TMNP which is designed to help them with alien species mapping, monitoring and clearing. SANParks HR’s regularly repeat the popular “Invasive Aliens in Fynbos Course” with emphasis on Table Mountain National Park, Identification and Control. This course is attended by members of the Table Mountain region, SANParks as well as Working for Water employees – from as far afield as Agulhas, as well as City of Cape Town conservation management employees. For more information, please contact HR Tony Rebelo on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
Tokai Park has recently been added to Table Mountain National Park. Parts are currently under commercial pine plantations, but as the pines are removed fynbos rehabilitation is actively promoted with plans to re-introduce Grysbok. Extensive work has also been done on the riverine ecosystems to encourage the return of the Cape Clawless Otter. To date 21 Red Data List plant species have either germinated from the seed banks or been reintroduced with the assistance of the Kirstenbosch Threatened Species Programme and the Millennium Seed Bank. These include the "Extinct in the wild" Erica verticillata and E. turgida. Recently 600 indigenous trees were donated to Table Mountain National Park to be planted around the newly proclaimed park. HR’s, Junior HR’s and local residents all helped plant the trees.
ENDANGERED SPECIES GARDEN IN TOKAI PARK
Amongst the indigenous vegetation types being restored in Table Mountain National Park are numerous threatened species. TMNP wants you to know about this because it is vital that we all, young and old, understand what is threatened if we are to appreciate the value of TMNP now and the value of the park to our children and their grandchildren.
SANParks HR’s in partnership with Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon are working with experts from TMNP and Kirstenbosch Gardens to create a very special Endangered Species Garden.
There will be about thirty different threatened species, each with an interpretive sign identifying the plant and its Red Data status.
The garden will be in a highly visible site on Orpen Road in Tokai Park and easily accessible to everyone. The paths will be wide enough for families and groups, like school eco clubs, to wander along.
Your participation, enthusiasm and support play a key role in TMNP’s Restoration Programme, and the creation and maintenance of this special garden will provide opportunities for you to become involved.
Please contact HR Sue Smith on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING if you would like to get involved
Over and above offering a variety of official HR training courses, Table Mountain Region has a successful initiative training members of the public.
Please see calendar at the bottom of this page for upcoming HR meetings, events, activities and training.
This project brings together youngsters from schools on the Cape Flats to learn about TMNP and get hands-on experience of this magnificent park and its flora and fauna. For more information, please contact HR Raj Rajkumar on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
Please see calendar at the bottom of this page for upcoming HR meetings, events, activities and training.
SUNBIRD CENTRE REFURBISHMENT
The Sunbird Education Centre has been refurbished by the SANParks HR’s. This project has been made possible by a donation of paint from Plascon. Working over weekends, the HR’s renovated the 106 year old building which is used as an environmental and education centre within the Central Section of the park at Silvermine. The project included repainting and renovating the building to be more user-friendly and safe.
NAMAQUA NATIONAL PARK ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD DOG PROJECT
Farmers, sheep, wildlife and their predators – never a comfortable mix. In the semi-arid regions bordering the Namaqua National Park, farmers cannot afford to lose any sheep or goats, so the managers at Namaqua NP instigated the Anatolian Shepherd dog project. The aim is to breed these large impressive looking dogs, train them so that they themselves will not attack wildlife, then place them with the flocks of sheep. Here they will roam freely with the sheep, and protect the flock should it be threatened. This has been working very well, with 31 dogs placed with surrounding farmers. On most of these farms, the predation of the sheep has decreased by 90% where Anatolian ‘doggy-guards’ are present.
Through a donation from a British sponsor, the Table Mountain Region secured funds to provide food and veterinary support for this project. These dogs are used to protect the sheep and goats in the area adjacent to the Namaqua National Park against predators.
NAMAQUA NATIONAL PARK CLEAN-UP
Due to the fact that Namaqua National Park has no Honorary Rangers within their region, the TMNP HR’s often volunteer to carry out duties within the park. Recently, a group of TMNP HR’s assisted with a major clean-up campaign in the Namaqua National Park. Masses of old scrap metal, wood and other general litter and waste matter were collected and either disposed of or recycled.
The HR’s also carried out some maintenance of some of the local farm houses (Diknek Farmstead) and fencing that had been incorporated into the Namaqua National Park.
AGULHAS NATIONAL PARK
Following a devastating fire in January 2010 much of the park infrastructure was destroyed. Much needed equipment provided by Cape Union Mart and other sponsors was collected by the HR’s.
FUNDRAISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
SANParks HR’s put together conservation partnerships with local businesses, organisations, and individuals in support of TMNP. For more information, please contact HR Sue Smith on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING or HR Michael McSweeney on JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING
VOLUNTEER WILDFIRE SERVICES – ANNUAL OPEN DAY
The TMNP HR’s man a stand at the Volunteer Wildfire Services Day held each year at the Newlands Fire Base. A large number of the public visited the stand where HR’s explained how they help with conservation in TMNP. The last one took place on 01 December 2012.