The Conservation of the Roodepoort Copper Butterfly and Black Eagles at Ruimsig in the city of Roodepoort, Gauteng, South Africa


Web Page by Adelaar Highschool for CyberFair 96

Map of South Africa, Gauteng enlarged on the left

Introduction

Our Community lives in a densely populated city. It straddles the Roodepoort/Krugersdorp municipal boundary, 15 km from Dobsonville, Meadowlands and Soweto, 25 km from the center of Johannesburg and close to Randburg and Pretoria. It is in Gauteng(the gray insert in the picture above) known for it's mineral riches, in fact gold was first discovered on less than 10 km from the National Botanical Gardens and Ruimsig Entomological Reserve. There are numerous mines and minedumps, factories, shops and shopping centers, yet our city has a suburban feel with mainly one or two story houses, clusterhomes, schools, churches and recreation centers.

In our project we would like to indtroduce you to two beautiful nature reserves in this environment:

A small 12 hectare Entomological Reserve was established for the protection of the rare butterfly Aloeides dentatis on very valuable development property. The Entomological Reserve is a first in Africa proclaimed to protect a unique grassland habitat for insects not commonly found Gauteng. The butterfly is restricted to this locality since it requires both the presence of its host ant and its larval foodplant, that is found here. The viability of small nature reserves are being investigated here and results of these conservation strategies could have far-reaching consequences for butterfly conservation in South Africa.

Nearby the National Botanical Garden is found, where, despite being surrounded by built-up areas, this corner of the Witwatersrand has retained its tranquillity and Black eagles still soar from their centuries-old nest on the cliff.The Black Eagles in the Witwatersrand Botanical Garden are fascinating and unique raptors in that they manage to survive and breed successfully in an increasingly unnatural environment. It is envisaged that with ongoing observations any problems will be timeously dealt with and the future of these famous Black Eagles secured.

Link to Project Narrative
Web Page by Adelaar Highschool for CyberFair 96
Last Updated March 28, 1996
Email: mm@adelaar.jhb.school.za
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